BOSTON — Boko Haram is a terrorist group in need of a good old-fashioned “coup d’etat,” President Joko Widodo said Wednesday, as he warned that the country’s fragile democracy will soon be in danger.
A day after a military coup forced the removal of the government, the leader of the countrys largest Islamist group told a news conference that the “crisis of democracy is real” and that “the time is coming when the coup will be carried out.”
The group is the only political force capable of challenging the majority-Muslim-dominated government in the Southeast Asian nation of 1.2 billion people.
The government was in power for nearly five years, but since July 2015 the government has been in turmoil and instability as the military and the military-aligned alliance that is ruling for the past three years seek to extend their grip on power.
The military’s alliance is the largest in Africa, and the alliance has accused the country of corruption and is threatening to crush any political dissent.
The coup came as Widodo’s party was on the brink of being sidelined in the upcoming elections, and as the ruling party faced a potential loss of seats in the national assembly if the election were postponed.
The opposition is pushing for a boycott of the elections.
The leader of Widodo, a leader of Indonesia’s ruling Joko Samah party, was flanked by members of the military, as well as the president’s wife, wife of former President Jokowi, and other members of his cabinet.
Widodo addressed the gathering at a hotel, where he said the country has suffered enough, and he urged the people to take matters into their own hands.
“This crisis of democracy has arrived,” Widodo told the gathering.
“It’s not a moment of weakness.
We must not let this crisis affect our society.
We have to put a stop to this crisis.
We cannot allow the country to be in a state of instability.
We are facing an imminent threat of a coup.”
The military seized power in a coup in February, but the latest coup attempt failed and a court declared the election invalid, a process that will be extended by an extra day.
The latest developments in the coup crisis come just a week after the country celebrated a year of its independence from a European-backed colonial rule that was followed by a military junta and a bloody civil war.
As the military has been trying to consolidate its power, Widodo has also been pushing to push through a controversial law aimed at extending the rule of law.
The law would make the presidency a hereditary position, but it has drawn opposition from human rights groups and the European Union, which say it infringes on fundamental rights.