Lenny Tristia Tambun
Following an escalation of tension among supporters of Jakarta gubernatorial candidates in the last several days, Nachrowi Ramli, running mate of incumbent Fauzi Bowo, called on all mass organizations supporting the pair to avoid using violence.
“Please be calm ahead of election day. We should be able to see that some parties have embarked on a divide-and-rule strategy so that we will attack each other,” he said on Friday in Central Jakarta.
Two attacks on campaign headquarters have taken place within a week despite a peace declaration signed by candidates competing for the governorship.
Alex Noerdin’s campaign headquarters in Ulujami, South Jakarta, was attacked by about 20 people wearing helmets and head covers on Tuesday night. A public transport driver, Adi Saputra, was badly injured in the attack, according to reports.
The mob also destroyed campaign banners in front of the building.
Late last week, someone threw a Molotov cocktail at the house of Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) candidate Hidayat Nur Wahid and also burned the spare tire of his car.
Both Alex and Hidayat condemned the attacks, saying they were an attempt to intimidate them ahead of the vote.
Police blamed the Betawi Brotherhood Forum (FBR) for the Ulujami attack and said the hunt was still on for the person who attacked Hidayat’s house.
Nachrowi, who heads the Betawi Consultative Body (Badan Musyawarah), where he supervises 114 organizations such as the FBR and the Betawi Communications Forum (Forkabi), told people not to jump to conclusions. He suggested that the FBR might not have been behind the attack.
The retired general, however, called on his supporters not to take the law into their own hands if supporters of other candidates did something to provoke them.
“So, if there are violations or violence from other camps just report them to the police. If you take the law on your own hands then the names of myself and Foke will be damaged,” he said, using Fauzi’s nickname.
Nachrowi also ordered his supporters not to destroy public property when rallying to support the pair.
“I don’t want Jakarta to have the same experience as other cities, where buildings and vehicles were set on fire. Jakarta is ours and we should keep it peaceful,” he explained.
Five other sets of candidates will compete against Fauzi and Nachrowi, who have the support of the ruling Democratic Party, in the July 11 election.