Constitutional Court (CC) rejected bid to annul April presidential election in which incumbent President Widodo was victorious, while police arrested several suspected militants in raids. Lawyers for failed presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto 14 June officially challenged election results to CC claiming systematic fraud; head of electoral commission denied charges. Court 27 June rejected case brought by Subianto. Amid fears of pro-Subianto supporters rioting following violent protests in May, govt deployed close to 50,000 police and military personnel in Jakarta during hearing; media reported hundreds of peaceful protesters gathered outside court prior to decision. Anti-terror police Densus 88 mid-June detained 34 suspects with alleged ties to Islamic State (ISIS)-linked Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) during raids in Central Kalimantan province. Local media reported police 29 June arrested leader of Jemaah Islamiyah group in West Java province. Police 3 June arrested suspected ISIS sympathiser after failed suicide bomb attempt in Central Java, in which only suspect sustained injuries.
A dispute over a flag in Aceh is testing the limits of autonomy, irritating Indonesia’s central government, heightening ethnic tensions, reviving a campaign for the division of the province and raising fears of violence as the 2014 national elections approach.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono needs to act more firmly against institutions and officials that defy national court rulings or his inaction risks prolonging local conflicts.
The only measure likely to halt violence in Indonesia’s Papua province in the short term is a major overhaul of security policy.
Almost ten years after the 2002 Bali bombing, Indonesian extremists are weak and divided but still finding partners for new operations.
Election monitors should begin deployment to Aceh long before the 9 April election to deter intimidation.
Despite years of investment in community policing, the Indonesian police remain deeply distrusted by the people they are supposed to serve.
Lecture by Sidney Jones at International Policy Studies program of Stanford University, 5 December 2012.
Originally published in The Interpreter
Originally published in The Jakarta Globe
Originally published in Myanmar Times