Forces Neno to leave Pekanbaru, BIN denies being not neutral

BIN says forcing Neno to leave Pekanbaru is the best way to prevent clashes.

Activist #2019GantiPresiden, Neno Warisman
Rep: Umar Mukhtar, Ali Mansur, Arif Satrio Nugroho, Puti Almas Red: Reiny Dwinanda

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Spokesperson of State Intelligence Agency (BIN), Wawan Hari Purwanto denied accusation of being not neutral in handling the rejection to the declaration of #2019GantiPresident, a movement to vote for new president in the presidential election 2019. He asserted BIN did not take side although the agency decided to force activist Neno Warisman to leave Pekanbaru, Riau, on Saturday (August 25).

According to Wawan, BIN Pekanbaru tried to prevent unexpected eventualities by forcing Neno to leave Pekanbaru. He said head of BIN in Pekanbaru has made the best decision in preventing riot as the movement was rejected by incumbent president's supporters.

"The measure taken by BIN was to prevent clashes between mass of #2019GantiPresident with groups of people who rejects Neno's arrival to Pekanbaru," Wawan said in a press conference in Pancoran, South Jakarta, on Monday (August 27) night.

Wawan reiterated that BIN did not take side in elections. However, to assure the people's safety, BIN was obliged to carry out early precautionary steps.

On the other hand, Wawan conveyed an apology as BIN Pekanbaru was considered to be rude to Neno and her entourage. He said such behaviour was likely to happen as tiredness struck.

Neno who was scheduled to attend declaration of #2019GantiPresiden in Pekanbaru on Sunday (August 28) was halted by a group of people at Sultan Syarif Kasim Airport. She arrived in Pekanbaru at around 15.00 West Indonesia Standard Time and was sent back to Jakarta later that night.

Earlier, Wawan said Neno’s plan to attend the event had reaped pros and cons. In addition, Riau Police also did not give permission for the event.

“When the police did not give permission then Intelligence Agency in Riau and the security forces are obliged to maintain the rules, so Neno are not welcome to present at the event,” said Wawan on on Sunday (August 27).

Meanwhile, according to head of the Public Relations of the National Police Setyo Wasisto, rejection to declaration of #2019GantiPresiden arose in some regions. The police decided to ban the declaration as it has been rejected by groups of people who believed such activity should only exist during campaign period and the hashtag could offended the other.

"The high wave of rejection to the declaration can result in conflict which is a disturbance to public order," Setyo said in a text message on Sunday (August 26).

Separately, Gerindra Party politician Andre Rosiade said the rejection against #2019ChangePresident declaration indicated the authorities were not neutral. According to him, incumbent president realized there are many supports from people who want the new leader for Indonesia.

He said #2019ChangePresident movement was raised by the community, not only from political parties. In addition, General Election Commission (KPU) and Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) has stated that  #2019ChangePresident event was not a part of presidential election campaign.

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