Indonesian police use tear gas as students protest rising vegetable oil prices and Jokowi’s third term

Crowds of demonstrators fled the scene outside the parliament in the capital Jakarta, according to a Reuters witness, and Kompas TV reported that stones were thrown at the complex.

The rally was one of several in Indonesia on Monday, including in South Sulawesi, West Java and Jakarta, where hundreds of neon-jacketed students marched to parliament to complain about rising commodity prices and the prospect of the president exceeding his limit on two terms. .

Jakarta police chief Fadil Imran said at a press conference that a university lecturer participating in the demonstration suffered “serious” injuries after being beaten and stepped on by a group of “non-students”. He added that six police officers who tried to help the lecturer were also injured.

He did not say why the group targeted the lecturer.

Jokowi, the famous president, tried Sunday to dispel rumors of a plan hatched by his allies to keep him in power longer.

The idea of ​​extending his tenure by changing the constitution or postponing the 2024 election has recently gained momentum in the world’s third-largest democracy after being publicly endorsed by some influential political figures.

“It’s clear how the elites are forcing themselves to delay elections, and it’s damaging the constitution,” said Muhammad Lutfi, a student who attended the protest.

University students have traditionally been at the forefront of efforts to defend Indonesia’s democratic gains since taking to the streets in 1998 during mass protests that helped topple the former leader. President Suharto.

The idea of ​​allowing more than two to five years in office heightened concerns about the threat to hard-won democratic reforms.

On Sunday, for the second time in less than a week, Jokowi, 60, called on ministers and security chiefs to stop discussing the issue to prevent public speculation, and said it was clear elections would take place in February 2024 as planned.

Joint U.S.-Indonesia military exercises to expand to 14 countries as tensions escalate in Indo-Pacific
Jokowi has maintained a high approval rating since he was first elected in 2014but a recent poll by Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting found that over 70% of Indonesians reject the renewal plan.

He has been criticized for his ambiguous stance on the issue, calling it a slap in the face and just an “idea” but not outright rejecting it or ruling out the possibility of staying in power longer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *