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Indonesian students protest the rumoured delay of 2024 election     

Indonesian students protest the rumoured delay of 2024 election  

Indonesian students protest the rumoured delay of 2024 election     
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Thousands of students marched in cities throughout Indonesia on Monday to protest allegations that the government is considering delaying the 2024 presidential election to allow President Joko Widodo to serve beyond the two-term legal limit, calling the move a danger to the country’s democracy.

Widodo disputed on Sunday that his government is aiming to postpone the election after key politicians, including a close friend, endorsed the notion, and directed the Cabinet to explain why the election is scheduled for Feb. 14, 2024.

“This needs to be explained so that there are no rumors circulating among people that the government is trying to postpone the election, or speculation about the extension of the president’s tenure or a related third term,” Widodo said at a Cabinet meeting on election preparations.

Authorities in Jakarta blocked roadways leading to the heavily guarded presidential palace and Parliament building, where demonstrators sought to march in order to demand that parliament not postpone the election or modify the constitution to allow Widodo to run again in 2024.

“We demand that the lawmakers do not betray the country’s constitution by amending it,” said Kaharuddin, a protest coordinator. “We want them to listen to people’s aspirations.”

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Protesters yelled about defending the country’s democratic development as well as rising gasoline and food prices.

Protests of a similar nature took place in several cities, including Bandung, Yogyakarta, Makassar, and Pontianak.

Students, who have historically been a driving force of political change in Indonesia, are leading the demonstrations, which are not affiliated with any single party or organisation. Student protests in 1998 spurred events that resulted in the resignation of long-serving strongman President Suharto.

Powerful political leaders, including Cabinet Ministers Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and Airlangga Hartarto, the chair of the governing coalition’s Golkar party, have proposed that the election be postponed.

Suharto controlled Indonesia for more than three decades, establishing an autocratic and frequently deadly dictatorship. During his reign, the privileged stole the economy, resulting in widespread corruption and human rights violations.

His demise ushered in democracy, and the time restriction is intended to prevent a return to authoritarianism.

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