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Police break up election boycott protest in Jakarta

Detik.com - July 7, 2009

Novi Christiastuti Adiputri, Jakarta – Scores of people from the Indonesian Youth Front for Struggle (FPPI) demonstrated at the Hotel Indonesia roundabout in Central Jakarta on Tuesday July 7 calling for a boycott of the presidential elections. On account of not having a permit, the demonstration was forcibly disbanded by police.

According to Detik’s observations, the protesters brought banners with demands such as “Golput 2009, the people’s political independence”, “I think therefore I golput”, as well as FPPI flags.

A number of people could be seen wearing white masks with pictures [of the presidential candidates] that had the figures 1, 2 and 3 written on them. The fourth mask meanwhile was white with no picture and had the figure 4 on it. “We the youth of Indonesia are of one nation, one language, the language of golput”, said one of the demonstrators in a speech.

FPPI national leader Sahat Tarida said that none of three presidential and vice presidential candidates have a commitment to pursue a pro-people agenda. “We have seen the huge crimes that they have committed. SBY [incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono], [vice presidential candidates] Prabowo [Subianto] and Wiranto are responsible for the massive number of human rights problems. We are being deceived yet again!”, explained Tarida.

After demonstrating for around 10 minutes, four police officers suddenly arrived and approached them to ask if they had a permit. “This is just a letter of notification. Do you have a permit or not”, said one of the officers. “Usually we have one Sir”, answered one of the protesters.

Police then asked them to disband of their own accord. The demonstrators then moved off in the direction of the General Election Commission offices on Jl. Imam Bonjol in Central Jakarta. (aan/nrl)


Golput - Golongan putih or white movement meaning not to mark the ballot paper (leave it blank) or abstain from voting.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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