Rioting in Mankowari not connected to elections: Security minister

The recent incident of rioting in Manokwari, West Papua, should not be seen as election related, a senior security minister said Thursday.

Indonesia will witness regional elections in various regions in February next year.

“Do not jump to any conclusion that the violence was related to regional elections,” Coordinating Minister for Political, Security and Legal Affairs, Wiranto, said.

He said Papua, Aceh as well as Jakarta were among the regions considered vulnerable to election related rioting.

The government, however, would keep working to ensure smooth conduct of the elections to be held simultaneously to elect provincial governors and district heads in 101 regions, including seven provinces.

“Indeed, chances of regional elections-linked law and order problems occurring in Papua, Aceh and Jakarta are quite high. However, while the situation was bad two months ago, we are now trying to cool things down so that by the time of voting, we have the situation under control,” he stressed.

Wiranto hoped that the elections next year would run peacefully and in an orderly manner. People would be able to cast their ballots without any pressure to choose who they find the best candidate.

Seven provinces, 76 districts and 18 cities are scheduled to elect governors, district heads and city mayors in simultaneous elections on February 15, 2017.

Clashes took place in Manokwari on Wednesday (October 26), and lasted until Thursday morning. Several people were injured in these, with two suffering gunshot injuries. A local military commandant, Major Suhargono, was manhandled.

“Six people fell victim to the violence. Of the two who were hit by gunshots, one named Onisimus Rumayon died. However, I am confident that he did not die because of the gunshot injury,” West Papua Regional Police Chief, Brig. Gen. Royke Lumowa, said.

Explaining another incident, Royke narrated that one Vijay was stabbed when he and his friends were not able to pay for the rice he had bought. People chased Vijay because he was causing nuisance at the food stall.

Source: Antara News