Emergency Hotlines: LANDLINE (+63) 2 911 – 8688

Official count gives Widodo election victory in Indonesia

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

Indonesian president Joko Widodo speaking during a field visit, interview with Widodo’s supporters | Courtesy: (c) 2019 Thomson Reuters

Incumbent President Joko Widodo won last month’s Indonesian election with 55.5 percent of votes against 44.5 percent for his challenger, retired General Prabowo Subianto, the election commission’s official count announced early on Tuesday (May 21).

“The valid ballots voted for presidential candidate number one, Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, is 68,650,239 or 44.5 percent of the total national votes,” said Commissioner Evi Novida Ginting of Indonesia’s National Election Commission.

The official result released by the General Election Commission (KPU) confirms unofficial counts by private pollsters of the April 17 election, giving Widodo a comfortable victory, though it could trigger a legal challenge and potential street protests after Prabowo claimed widespread cheating.

Widodo won with over 85 million of the total 154 million votes cast in the world’s third-largest democracy.

“The valid ballots voted for presidential candidate number one, Joko Widodo and Maruf Amin, is 85,607,362 or 55.5 percent of the total national votes,” Ginting said.

An election supervisory agency earlier on Monday (May 20) dismissed claims of systematic cheating because of a lack of evidence and independent observers and analysts have said the poll was free and fair.

The losing party can lodge a legal challenge at the constitutional court. Otherwise, the commission will officially declare the winner by May 28. (REUTERS)

Tags: , , , ,

Tanker attacks in Gulf of Oman fuel security, oil supply fears

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2019

Fire burning on oil tanker at sea | Courtesy: Image grabbed from a Reuters video

Attacks on two oil tankers on Thursday (June 13) in the Gulf of Oman left one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices up 4 percent over worries about Middle East supplies.

The Front Altair was on fire in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after an explosion that a source blamed on a magnetic mine. The crew of the Norwegian vessel were picked up by a vessel in the area and passed to an Iranian rescue boat.

A second Japanese-owned tanker was abandoned after being hit by a suspected torpedo, the firm that chartered the ship said. The crew were also picked up.

The attacks were the second in a month near the Strait of Hormuz, a major strategic waterway for world oil supplies. (REUTERS)

Tags: , ,

Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport attacked by Yemen’s Houthi group

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2019

Courtesy : Reuters

The Saudi-led military coalition vowed to respond firmly to a missile attack by Yemeni Houthi forces on a civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia on Wednesday (June 12) that wounded 26 people.

The coalition said a projectile hit the arrivals hall at Abha airport, causing material damage.

Three women and two children were among the wounded, who were of Saudi, Yemeni and Indian nationalities, it said in a statement on Thursday (June 13).

Meanwhile, planes from the Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen bombed areas around the capital Sanaa on Thursday, residents and the Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV said.

The Western-backed, Sunni Muslim coalition has been battling the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen since 2015 when it intervened to try to restore the internationally recognized government that was ousted from the capital Sanaa by the Houthis in late 2014. (REUTERS)

Tags: , , ,

Hong Kong protesters condemn ‘unreasonable’ police violence

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2019

Police gathered in Tamar Park | Courtesy: Image grabbed from a Reuters video

Hong Kong demonstrators who experienced tear gas when the anti-extradition protest turned violent said on Thursday (June 13) that they condemned the ‘unreasonable’ use of force by the police.

Hundreds of people remained on the streets to protest a planned extradition law with mainland China, a day after police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray in a series of skirmishes to clear demonstrators from the legislature, with officials saying 72 people had been admitted to hospital by 10 p.m.

Uniformed police with helmets and shields blocked overhead walkways in Hong Kong’s financial district on Thursday, while a long row of police vans was parked nearby.

Plainclothes police officers checked commuters’ identity papers as a massive clean-up was underway, clearing streets of debris, like broken umbrellas used by protesters to protect themselves and broken baricades, left from the violent clashes.

Protesters, some still wearing face masks and goggles in case police once again use tear gas, were joined by students during the day.

But their numbers eased off later to a few hundred, after a Legislative Council meeting to discuss the extradition bill was postponed. (REUTERS)

Tags: , , ,