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Tension mars in Indonesia ahead of election

English.news.cn   2014-07-03 21:44:12

by Abu Hanifah

JAKARTA, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Temperature of politics in Indonesia heats up following the crackdown against a TV station controlled by president hopeful Prabowo Subianto camp as the election schedule draws near.

It prompted President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued order to authorities to take precaution measures in anticipating conflict that may occur before and after the conduction of election.

The crackdowns against TVOne, a news TV channel owned by Aburizal Bakrie, chairman of Golkar Party that supports Prabowo, on Wednesday night were conducted by supporters of Prabowo's rival in presidential election Joko Widodo.

The ex-general Prabowo Subianto, patron figure of Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party, is fully supported by coalition of seven parties joined in Red and White coalition.

The attacks against the TV station were conducted in its branch office in Yogyakarta and its head office in Jakarta. Widodo's supporters joined in Democracy Struggle Volunteers (Repdem) vandalized the TV buildings, protesting the news broadcasted by the TV station which they claimed of impaired when it comes to reports about Widodo.

Tjahjo Kumolo, secretary general of Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) that supports Widodo candidacy said on Wednesday that the party would file in a strong warning to the TV station regarding the impair reports against Widodo.

He also ordered all party cadres to take highest alert stance to response the ongoing condition. PDI-P set up a coalition joined by five parties to support the Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo in seizing presidency in the upcoming election.

Responding to the latest political development prior to the election, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered police and the military on Thursday to stay on high alert in responding the developing situation so as to secure national security related to the conduction of election.

"They should not underestimate on possible disruption that may occur in a sudden. They must be on high alert prior to July 9 until a few days after the election until the situation confirmed secure across the country," the president said in a press conference held after a limited cabinet meeting in his office here.

The president ordered the coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs to directly control the operation aimed at erecting public order carried out by police and the military in relation to the election event.

The president added that he would closely monitor the developing situation prior and after the election and would issue further orders should the developing political situation threat the nation.

An executive of an Indonesian prominent journalist organization deplored the move to vandalize the media, saying that there is procedure to file in complaint on impair reports published by the media.

I believe that their moves were incited by impacts of reports broadcasted by the media (TVOne). What should come first in creating reports is the public interest," Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Secretary General Suwarjono said on Thursday.

He said there is no prohibition for the media to affiliate with certain camp taking part in the presidential election as long as the reports are complying with journalism principles, not contained with slander.

Black campaigns denouncing credibility of the two pairings running for the presidential election this year have been rampant in social media launched by supporters of the president hopefuls Prabowo Subianto and Joko Widodo.

President Yudhoyono has warned earlier that black campaign would tarnish public's respect to whoever elected president in the upcoming election. He said being elected as the president is not the primal goal, adding that what really matters is how the president-elect runs the country, which is not an easy task.

Editor: Fu Peng
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