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Chaos breaks out after protesters throw dead rats at election commission office

CNN Indonesia - February 23, 2024

Jakarta – Chaos broke out during a demonstration in front of the General Elections Commission (KPU) office in Central Jakarta on Friday February 23 with protesters arguing and scuffling with police.

In response, police moved a water cannon tactical vehicle towards the protesters while a speaker was still articulating their demands.

The police also erected a billboard containing a first warning for demonstrators to disperse in an orderly manner.

The demonstrators, calling themselves the Civil Society Movement to Save Indonesian Democracy, had earlier thrown mouse carcass and water bottle at the KPU office.

This was conveyed by the Central Jakarta Metro Jaya district police chief Senior Commissioner Susatyo Purnomo Condro who took part in securing the action.

"It was from a group that was against the KPU. Earlier for several moments they threw Aqua bottles as well as mouse carcasses, there were three earlier", said Susatyo said at the location of the action on Friday.

Condro said that after they appealed to the protesters, they calmed down and continued the demonstration.

Meanwhile, the mouse carcasses and water bottles thrown by the protesters were cleaned up by officers from the Public Infrastructure and Facility Administration (PPSU).

There were two different camps with opposite narratives holding actions in front of the KPU office today. The police initially deployed a water cannon to separate the two groups.

"An AWC vehicle, an armoured water cannon. So they wouldn't provoke each other, not look at each other in the eye, so we prevented friction between the two groups", Condro explained.

The main demand taken up by the hundreds of protesters at the action was rejecting election fraud during the 2024 elections.

Other demands included the impeachment of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, prosecuting commissioners from the KPU and the Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu), calling for right of inquiry related to election fraud and the disqualification of candidate pair number 2, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and Widodo's son Gibran Rakabuming Raka.

Meanwhile, another camp calling themselves the themselves the Indonesian Student and Youth Coalition (Kompi), also brought a number of demands.

They included an end to narratives related to the election process, supporting the KPU and Bawaslu caring out their duties and asking all parties not to paint election organisers in a bad light.

The two camps held the actions on Jalan Imam Bonjol across from the KPU office. Police closed off Jalan Imam Bonjol in both directions with concrete barriers, razor wire and a water cannon. (pop/pmg)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Demo di Kantor KPU Ricuh, Massa Lempar Bangkai Tikus".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20240223182150-20-1066632/demo-di-kantor-kpu-ricuh-massa-lempar-bangkai-tiku