Jakarta Police Gear Up for ‘Escalating Tension’ in Election Runoff

By webadmin on 07:45 pm Sep 19, 2012
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Jakarta Globe

Jakarta Police are beefing up security for the gubernatorial runoff election on Thursday, saying they expect “escalating tension” with only two tickets facing off.

“We’ve estimated an escalating tension in the runoff because there will be only two pairs contesting,” South Jakarta Police operations head Adj. Sr. Comr. Yossie Prihambodo told Indonesian news portal kompas.com on Wednesday.

He said police would be dispatched to polling stations across the capital, with each officer expected to oversee activities at two or three polling stations, supported by civilian security officers in each neighborhood.

“We’ve established coordination with security officers from urban ward and subdistrict offices,” Yossie said.

The runoff election is scheduled for Thursday, with incumbent Fauzi Bowo and his running mate Nachrowi Ramli, the head of the Jakarta office of the Democratic Party, to face off against Solo Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and running mate Basuki T. “Ahok” Purnama.

Campaigning ahead of the second ballot has been ugly, with rampant reports of religious slurs directed especially at Ahok, the only Christian contestant on either ticket.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said earlier this month that police would dispatch more than 16,000 personnel to ensure security during the election.