Again, reconciliation in dire need among Indonesia’s elites

The deaths of eight civilians and injuries sustained by several hundreds in Jakarta's post-election riots that occurred on May 21 and May 22 have become a tragedy of humanity during the fasting month of Ramadan.

Among the dead civilians were those suffering from bullet wounds. One of them was identified as Farhan Syafero. According to CNN Indonesia, this 30-year-old resident of Kampong Rawakalong in Grogol Village, Depok city, West Java Province, sustained shots to his chest.

The post-election riots that led to the deaths of eight civilians, including Farhan Syafero and Muhammad Harun Rasyid (15), occurred after the General Elections Commission (KPU) announced the final results of the recent parliamentary and presidential elections.

The final tally that the KPU announced on May 21 at around 1:28 a.m. indicated the Jokowi- Amin pair had secured 85 million votes, or 55.5 percent of the national vote, as compared to contenders Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno's 68 million votes, or 44.5 percent.

The Jokowi-Amin pair had declared victory, while the Prabowo-Sandi pair rejected the KPU's official tabulation result and challenged it by filing an official lawsuit over the disputed election results at the Constitutional Court.

This unfinished political process has sparked peaceful mass protests from the Prabowo-Sandi pair's supporters, who alleged massive frauds in the presidential elections.

However, the peaceful rallies that the Prabowo-Sandi pair's loyalists had staged were disrupted by a group of rioters who infiltrated the crowds of peaceful demonstrators.

As revealed by National Police Spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo, the riots occurred after the Prabowo-Sandi pair's supporters who staged peaceful mass protest in front of the Elections Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) left their location at around 9 p.m. on May 21.

However, two hours later, some 100 people again gathered in front of the Bawaslu building and destroyed the barbed-wired barricades. Instead of leaving the scene, they provoked the police by throwing stones, wood, and Molotov cocktails at them, he said.

Tensions rose and led to the deadly riots from Tuesday evening to early Wednesday.

The circle of violence that led to the deaths of eight protestors, and injuring of hundreds, including medical workers, has caused Vice President Jusuf Kalla to voice his concern about the riots' implications on Indonesia's political and economic stability.

Kalla then invited several well-known Indonesians, including religious and community leaders, to his residence in Jakarta on May 23 to discuss the country's current situation.

The figures who attended the meeting, which began about 08.30 p.m., included Tri Sutrisno, Mahfud MD, Din Syamsudin, Komaruddin Hidayat, Bambang Hendarso Danuri, Abdul Mukti, Sofyan Djalil, Amirsyah Tambunan, Syafruddin, Agus Wijoyo, and Anies Baswedan.

On May 22, Jusuf Kalla hinted that he sought to bring together important figures in the country to work to help reduce tensions in the aftermath of the KPU's announcement about the recent presidential election results.

As the government's representative, Kalla said he was ready to open a dialogue with political elites who were involved in the 2019 Presidential Elections, in a bid to create peace and stability in the country.

"The government is certainly ready to talk and hold a dialogue with all figures, because our goal is similar in creating peace and prosperity. These all have procedures," he said, adding that the entire nation needs to remain calm.

If the mass protests get worse, Indonesia could again be plunged into an economic and political condition like that of 1998, Kalla said.

Being aware of the implications of an unstable Indonesia, Kalla appealed to Indonesians to maintain composure in implementing the democratic process to placate tensions.

"We remain upbeat that the people will maintain composed in practicing democracy," Kalla informed journalists, after initiating the meeting with key figures at his residence on Thursday evening to deliberate on Indonesia's present situation.

It is acceptable to harbor feelings of disappointment over a democratic process, and a protest can be staged in line with legal procedures by lodging a lawsuit in the Constitutional Court (MK) over the disputed election results, he explained.

Kalla praised the decision of the Prabowo-Sandi pair to lodge a challenge to the result of the election in the Constitutional Court, and expressed his hope that the trial would be held in a fair, transparent, and independent manner.

"We highly laud the stance of the two presidential and vice presidential candidate pairs to resolve electoral issues through the legal course. We are optimistic about all matters being resolved in the Constitutional Court," he reiterated.

Hence, Kalla called on the people to exhibit self-restraint, facilitate the resolution of problems through legal procedures, and desist from violent acts in exercising their freedom of the right to speak.

Sharing Kalla's message, ten former commissioners of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) gathered in Jakarta on Saturday to display their concerns over the deadly post-election riots.

In their peace message, they urged the country's political elites to support those who have taken constitutional steps to resolve disputed election results.

One of the former human rights commissioners, M.Ridha Saleh, noted that the political elites should be able to show their statesmanship, and make themselves become good examples for the people.

Therefore, they should not be provocative for the sake of instant political interests, he said, adding that they need to support those taking constitutional measures to solve the disputed election results by filing lawsuits at the Constitutional Court.

For community members, he said they should also be mature and wise in receiving information circulated through media, so that they are not provoked by fake news.

They must also be wise in dealing with different political choices in the recent elections, Saleh said.

The messages of peace and reconciliation are not merely echoed by the country's well-known people. Instead, they are also expressed by ordinary Indonesians.

Several hundred university students in Lhokseumawe, Aceh Province, for instance, staged a peaceful rally on May 23, and echoed a message of peace and reconciliation among Indonesia's political elites, for the sake of preventing the nation from disintegrating.

Source: Antara News

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