PA 212 says around 100,000 will come out to protest at Constitutional Court next Friday

Protesters gather at Jakarta’s National Monument park as part of a rally against Jakarta’s former Christian Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama on December 2, 2016. Photo: AFP
Protesters gather at Jakarta’s National Monument park as part of a rally against Jakarta’s former Christian Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama on December 2, 2016. Photo: AFP

Almost all of the recent drama surrounding the election lawsuit by losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto has taken place within the walls of the Constitutional Court (MK) this week (you can read more about the latest on the court hearing in today’s edition of our premium newsletter Indonesia Intelligencer) as only a small number of die-hard Prabowo supporters have held peaceful protests outside the courtroom since the trial began last Friday.

However, Persaudaraan 212 (PA 212), an umbrella group of hardline Islamist organizations strongly affiliated with the opposition, says there will be a mass protest next Friday, June 28 — the day MK is expected to render their decision — in which followers of the group and supporters of Prabowo will demand justice in the outcome of the election.

“On June 28, at its peak there will be more or less 100,000 [protesters],” PA 212 spokesperson Novel Bamukmin (of “Fitsa Hats” fame) told Suara today.

“Hopefully MK doesn’t catch whatever the KPU (General Election Commission) had that prevented them from keeping to schedule.”

Novel’s statement was in reference to the KPU announcing the official result of the presidential election one day ahead of schedule on May 21, throwing off plans for protests. The protests ended up happening anyway over two days, descending into violent riots (in which nine people were killed) at night, but during the day protests were largely peaceful and manageable by authorities.

It’s possible MK may render their decision before June 28 if the trial is concluded early.

Novel added that many of the protesters would be members of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), with the support of their self-exiled founder Rizieq Shihab.

PA 212 and affiliated groups have been successful in mobilizing huge crowds of protesters in the past, most notably the December 12, 2016 protest against former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama (the date for which is referenced in PA 212’s name). But PA 212 has been known to wildly overestimate their protest turnout figures, saying that some 7 million attended the aforementioned protest when estimates by the media and authorities put that number closer to around 300,000.

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CITY: JAKARTACATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: POLITICS

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