World Media

Two presidential candidates register for Indonesia polls next year

Two presidential candidates register for Indonesia polls next year

"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.

Jakarta governor-elect Anis Baswedan (center), his deputy governor-elect Sandiaga Uno (left), and Prabowo Subianto (right), celebrate during a press conference in Jakarta on April 19, 2017.

The pair will square off against Prabowo and deputy Jakarta governor Sandiaga Uno, a former businessman and private equity tycoon.

Jokowi's pick has become bigger news in Indonesia, the world's third-largest democracy, than an quake on the island of Lombok that killed more than 300 people.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his former rival in the 2014 general election, retired general Prabowo Subianto, officially registered their candidacy in the country's electoral commission on Friday.

Jokowi, the first Indonesian president from outside the military and political elite, announced his vice-presidential candidate, Ma'ruf Amin, on Thursday after weeks of fevered speculation in local media. 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.

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"Jokowi is anxious that the issue of religion would be used to attack him", Arya said.

Amin is the authoritative head of the Indonesian Ulema Council.

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.

"I have decided, after being approved by the parties' coalition, that my vice president candidate for 2019-2024 is Prof".

In December past year, Ma'ruf said he regretted the Constitutional Court's decision to reject a petition to criminalise gay sex, calling for a "stern prohibition" of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender activities. "We want to be dedicated so that there will be no more hungry people, no more poor people in Indonesia and justice must be felt by all Indonesian people", he said.

An hour before Prabowo's near-midnight announcement, the Democrat party threatened to quit the coalition unless Prabowo went with the younger Yudhoyono or reconsidered his pick for running mate, party secretary general Andi Arief said on his Twitter account.


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