14 April 2017
It was no surprise that the first round of the gubernatorial election held on Feb 15 to elect the Governor of Jakarta to a five-year term proved inconclusive. Incumbent governor Basuki Thahaja Purnama – popularly known by his Hakka moniker Ahok – and his running mate Djarot Saiful Hidayat led in a race widely viewed as a litmus-test of Indonesian pluralism with his competitor not far behind.
Ahok garnered almost 43 per cent of the vote, despite an ongoing blasphemy case and huge protest rallies by hard-line Islamists, who attacked him on both racial and religious grounds.
His rivals, former Education Minister Anies Baswedan trailed slightly behind with 40 per cent and Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, the eldest son of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, came in a distant third with just 17 per cent. With no candidate securing more than 50 per cent of the vote, Ahok and Anies, the top two finishers will face off in a second round this Wednesday (Apr 19).
If Ahok prevails, he will become the first elected Chinese Christian governor of Jakarta.
… Associate Professor Leonard C. Sebastian is Coordinator, Indonesia Programme, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University and Adjunct Associate Professor, Australian Defence Force Academy, University of New South Wales.
GPO / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 26/05/2017