After Local Election in Aceh Turns Violent, Police Declare Man a Suspect
Police in the Aceh district of Nagan Raya have declared one man a suspect following recent violence there pitting thousands of electoral protesters against security forces, a police officer said on Wednesday.
“From the seven people yesterday, only one remains detained and we are declaring the person, whose initials are M.I., as a suspect,” Sr. Comr. Agus Rianto, the head of the National Police general information department, said in Jakarta.
Police had arrested 66 protesters on Monday, but only seven were held for questioning until Tuesday. The seven were suspected of inciting the violence.
At least two police officers were injured when they attempted to disband a noisy and violent protest at the local district office of the Independent Election Commission (KIP), which was also vandalized.
The protesters were supporters of Asib Amin and Djasmi Has, a pair of candidates running in the second round of local elections for the district chief and deputy.
In the second round of voting, Teuku Zularnain and Jamin Idham won narrowly, attracting 43,640 votes, or 52 percent of the total, compared to the 41,608 votes garnered by Asib and Djasmi.
Asib supporters demanded that a recount be held, claiming irregularities and cheating, but electoral authorities rejected the demand. Protesters turned violent on Monday, demanding the annulment of the results of the election.
Elections across Aceh were held in April, following delays caused by disputes over candidate registration. The ballot was largely peaceful and there were few accusations of irregularities, although there were some earlier acts of violence.