Governor candidate Ahok cancels visit to Kedoya Utara

Candidate for Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or Ahok as he is also called, canceled his planned visit to Kedoya Utara in West Jakarta on Thursday for security reasons.

“I would have dropped in there, but after driving around the location twice I saw a lot of police officers there and also a tear gas cannon carrying vehicle,” he said at his residence in Pantai Mutiara, North Jakarta.

In addition to police officers and a tear gas cannon carrying vehicle, he said he also saw a lot of private cars passing along the Kedoya Utara main road.

“I also saw a lot of cars passing there. I calculated. If I had stopped there, I was afraid stone throwing would happen and hit the passing cars. So, I decided I had better withdraw rather than cause chaos.”

Around 300 police personnel had been deployed on the location to secure Ahoks visit in addition to a number of tactical vehicles, including a water cannon carrying vehicle.

The traffic along the Kedoya Utara road was congested due to the presence of police personnel and people who wished to see Ahok.

A crowd of around 30 people was also at the same location protesting the arrival of Ahok.

Ahok appealed to the authorities to legally process those rejecting his visit during the current period of campaigning.

“I think what they are doing is wrong. They must immediately be legally processed,” he said.

He added that he had often seen young children and housewives being used for protest rallies. “I often saw young children and housewives being mobilized to participate in the protest. I think this is not right and must be dealt with.

Ahok had already reported the case to the Election Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu).

“We have reported the protests to Panwaslu. The police are also aware of them and have pictures and video recordings of the protesters. The trouble makers have been identified,” he said.

The incidents however have kept Ahok from visiting people in other locations.

“Visits will continue. I can assure I will still visit the location because I know there are still areas there that have often been flooded,” he said.

The visits he has made so far were not merely aimed at campaigning for his election, but also to check areas, which are still flooded during the rainy season.

“While I was governor I conducted visits to check locations, which are still flooded and assure them that services work. So it is not only for campaigning. I have also never asked people to choose me,” he said.

He further stated that if rioting happened during his visit he would check how many people have been hurt.

“I will continue to come. If anything happens just check how many people are hurt. That is the important thing,” he said.

People in Jakarta will elect a new governor and vice governor on February 15, 2017.

Three pairs candidates will contest the election: Ahok with his Deputy Governor, Djarot Saiful Hidayat are running together, former Education Minister Anies Baswedan and businessman Sandiaga Uno, and the son of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and former Jakarta administration official Sylviana Murni.

The three pairs of candidates have been campaigning since October 28 and their activities will continue until February 11.

A huge demonstration took place in the capital last Friday demanding immediate law enforcement against Ahok, who was accused of making blasphemous remarks during a meeting with people in the Kepulauan Seribu district of North Jakarta recently.

Source: Antara News