Indonesian president picks cleric as running mate in 2019:The Asahi Shimbun

12 Août, 2018, 14:07 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Prabowo and Sandiaga Uno announce their bid in the 2019 presidential elections. —Reuters

"Jokowi has picked an Islamist running mate to shore up his conservative and religious flank in a contest against the ultra-nationalist Prabowo, who in the past has worked closely with hard-line Islamists to undermine the president", said Eurasia Group analyst Peter Mumford in a report.

"Wherever there have been socially conservative campaigns run within the Islamic community in Indonesia, Ma'ruf Amin has often been right at the centre of those campaigns", he said.

His rival in what is expected to be a two-horse race is former general Prabowo Subianto, who is teaming up with Jakarta's deputy governor, Sandiaga Uno, a wealthy businessman and fellow party stalwart.

Indonesia, the world's third-largest democracy and biggest Muslim-majority country, goes to the polls in April. Hours before the announcement, former chief justice Mahfud MD touted himself as the Widodo's vice-presidential candidate.

The battle lines for Indonesia's 2019 presidential election were drawn Friday as the incumbent Joko "Jokowi" Widodo formally registered as a candidate after choosing a conservative Islamic cleric as his running mate. In the past he had issued a statement condemning Widodo's political ally, the former governor of Jakarta of Chinese ethnicity Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, for insulting the Koran in the middle of an election campaign in Jakarta.

There was a celebratory atmosphere and snarled traffic outside the election commission in central Jakarta as the candidates arrived.

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Amin had been a presidential adviser and had served in local and national legislatures in the past.

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) last month said that Jokowi's electability remains as high as 58.2 percent.

The MUI was also pivotal to several controversial regulations including the country's anti-Pornography law, which has to date blocked out 70,000 "negative" websites, and the 2013 decree banning the Ahmadiyah Muslim religious sect.

Prabowo said his candidacy was supported by three political parties, but left out the Democrat Party in his nomination speech in an apparent sign of rifts in the opposition coalition. Just last week, chairman of the party, former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and Prabowo's Gerindra party announced an alliance.

It is widely believed that the Democrats wanted Prabowo to pick Yudhoyono's son, US -educated retired army major Agus Harimurti, as his running mate.

"We want to be in power on behalf of the people, we want there is no hunger and poor people in Indonesia", Prabowo said after the registration.

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