JAKARTA, Indonesia – The upcoming political battle for the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) and the Idul Adha celebrations on Sunday, October 5, lead our wrap of stories from Indonesia.
1. Next round in Jokowi-Prabowo battle takes place Monday
The seemingly never-ending battle between President-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and the candidate he defeated, Prabowo Subianto, moves on to the next round Monday, October 6, when the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) selects its leaders. The MPR used to be Indonesia’s most powerful governing body and elected the country’s presidents until post-Suharto reforms reduced its status in 2004. However, Prabowo’s allies are seen to be maneuvering to empower it again, which analysts warn could lead to the impeachment of the president and the loss of direct presidential elections. Members of Prabowo’s coalition and the Democratic Party are poised to take control of the MPR’s leadership positions, according to the Jakarta Globe, even as Jokowi’s PDI-P party reportedly held a meeting Sunday to determine a strategy that would prevent another major blow.
2. Sacrificial bull refuses to die, leads faithful on a two-hour chase
A bull that was about to be sacrificed as part of the Eid al-Adha (Idul Adha in Indonesia) feast on Sunday, October 5, was apparently not yet ready to die and managed to go on a rampage through the streets of Pekanbaru in Riau Province, Beritasatu.com reported. What followed next looked like a misplaced cowboy movie as locals attempted to lasso the raging bull. It even entered a convenience store, hid inside a warehouse, and damaged a car before the rope on its leg got entangled in power lines two hours later.
3. Asian Games closes with Indonesia at 17th place
The 2014 Asian Games closed in a glitzy ceremony Saturday, October 4, with Indonesia languishing in the 17th place in the medal tally. In total, Indonesia won 4 gold, 5 silver and 11 bronze medals. “We at least equaled our results from the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, where we won 4 gold medals too,” Ade Lukman, chairman of the Indonesian contingent to the Asian Games, told state news agency Antara. The gold medals were courtesy of badminton – both mens and womens doubles – as well as one in womens long jump. The 4th medal was awarded to Indonesia in wushu after a Malaysian athlete failed the doping test. Chances look better for Indonesia in the next Asian Games in 2018, which will be held in Jakarta.
4. Police talk tough against FPI leader
Jakarta Police on Sunday reiterated their threat to forcibly pick up Habib NV, the leader of the extremist Islam Defender Front (FPI) that rioted at the city council grounds on Friday, if he doesn’t answer their summons, Antara reported. The FPI clashed with the police on Friday while protesting the installation of “non-Muslim and arrogant” Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama as the new governor. The chaos began when protesters began throwing stones at police officers securing the demonstration, forcing the latter to fire tear gas. Police arrested 14 FPI members after the clash, according to this Rappler report.
5. Celebrity lawyer and his lamborghini figure in fatal traffic accident
Flamboyant celebrity lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea and his green Lamborghini sports car were held by police on Sunday after they crashed into a truck that had a tire blowout along a Jakarta toll road. The truck driver passed away and his helper suffered from minor injuries, local media reported. – Rappler.com
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