Indonesia's police, army win praise for peaceful inauguration

Indonesia's police, army win praise for peaceful inauguration
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla greeting the crowds as they make their way towards the presidential palace.

The committee of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's inauguration party has praised the National Police and the Indonesian Military (TNI) for their success in securing Jokowi's inauguration and the so-called "people's party" held after the ceremony on Oct. 20, when thousands of people took to the streets to cheer the new President.

More than 45,000 turned up on Monday for the street party and an evening music concert dedicated to Jokowi and Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

"We appreciate the police and soldiers who gave their support for the event. In general, tight security measures enabled us to carry out each step of the celebration smoothly," Dono Prasetyo from Seknas Jokowi, one of the volunteer groups that organised the event, said on Wednesday.

On inauguration day, the police and TNI dispatched a joint team of 24,815 personnel to secure the House of Representatives compound, the Presidential Palace and Jakarta's main thoroughfares between Semanggi and the National Monument (Monas), where the celebrations took place.

One of the most challenging tasks for the security personnel was to ensure the safety of Jokowi and Kalla when they rode in a horse-drawn carriage through a sea of revelers during a parade from the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle to Monas.

During the celebration, the Presidential Security Detail (Paspampres) at times had a hard job guarding the carriage as Jokowi and Kalla occasionally tried to shake the hands of their supporters.

The committee also praised revelers for an incident-free celebration.

"Visitors stood in line to take free food and enter the concert venue at Monas. No violent assaults or riots occurred. However, some people dumped trash on the ground. Thankfully, we had a team tasked to clean up the venue," one of the committee members, Iwan Dwi Laksono, said.

On inauguration day, the police and TNI dispatched a joint team of 24,815 personnel Sutarman pays tribute to 16 police officers who lost their lives during the inauguration security operation Meanwhile, Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Unggung Cahyono said the success of President Jokowi's inauguration ceremony was the result of joint police-military security measures, as well as citizens' cooperation.

"First, we had the strong presence of our personnel. Second, people were easy to handle," Unggung said on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of the elections security operation at Jakarta Police headquarters on Wednesday.

National Police chief Gen. Sutarman, also speaking at the event, said that the absence of serious incidents between the April 9 legislative election and the presidential inauguration showed that the country's democracy had matured.

"This has been an astounding lesson in democracy, the world now can learn from Indonesia [about elections and security measures]. Several countries, including Myanmar, have asked to meet me to learn about the security measures for this democratic process," he said.

During the ceremony, Sutarman also paid tribute to 16 police officers who lost their lives during the inauguration security operation.

"[Some of the deceased officers] were killed when distributing election materials to remote areas. One suffered a fatal accident in Natuna [off Riau Islands], while another drowned in a river in Kalimantan," he said.

As the presidential inauguration process in Jakarta was complete, at the ceremony Sutarman sent 2,100 Mobile Brigade (Brimob) personnel from 12 regional police forces back to their bases.

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