30 November 2016
Compared with 2012, the Jakarta Gubernatorial Elections in 2017 carry greater significance on the Indonesian national stage than ever before. One dimension is politics and plurality.
As the Indonesian capital Jakarta swings into its gubernatorial elections set for early next year, it is timely to assess what this political contest means as a barometer for the culture of tolerance in Indonesian politics and society. A candidate from a “double-minority” community – a Christian and ethnic Chinese by the name of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) – is competing for the governorship. He is teaming up with a pribumi and Muslim running mate Djarot Syaiful Hidayat.
Officially known as the Special Capital Region of Jakarta, the city had always been a vortex for political activity. Recent developments in Indonesia’s political landscape further accentuated Jakarta’s role as primus inter pares among all cities in Indonesia where political fortunes were made and broken. In particular its gubernatorial elections, historically a local if not regional affair, now carry the weight of national significance following Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi) and Ahok’s precedent-setting victory in the gubernatorial elections in 2012, where Ahok was then Jokowi’s running mate.
… Jonathan Chen and Satrio Dwicahyo are respectively Associate Research Fellow and Research Associate at the Indonesia Programme of the S. Rajaratnam of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. This is part of a series.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 01/12/2016