Election in Indonesia’s Capital Could Test Ethnic and Religious Tolerance

14indonesia1-master768JAKARTA, Indonesia — In one of the most contentious campaigns in the history of Indonesia’s young democracy, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the governor of Jakarta, is battling on two fronts: in the court of public opinion and in the court of law.

Mr. Basuki, an ethnic Chinese Christian who leads the capital of the world’s most populous predominantly Muslim country, is not only campaigning in the election on Wednesday but also defending himself against criminal charges of blasphemy against Islam.

He and his chief political ally, President Joko Widodo, have labeled his court case a conspiracy by “political actors” who aim to quash his re-election bid for one of the country’s most powerful offices. Some political analysts also called the court case, which they say violates a decades-old ban on using ethnicity and religion as a political weapon, a move by opponents of Mr. Joko to weaken the president in the prelude to his 2019 re-election bid.

A series of rallies in Jakarta late last year that drew hundreds of thousands of hard-line Islamists, including one in November that turned violent and left one dead and hundreds injured, have eroded Mr. Basuki’s once double-digit lead.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s