19 April 2018
As Indonesia gears up for the presidential election even though it is still a year away, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is poised to seek re-election for a second five-year term. In fact, he has already secured endorsement from several political parties, most importantly from his own Indonesian Democratic Party Struggle (PDIP) and the Golkar Party, which together control 36 percent of seats of the House of Representatives (DPR).
However, what is going to make the 2019 presidential election different from previous ones is that all potential candidates have to show they possess strong Islamic credentials if they hope to go far. The pressure to accommodate Islamic groups has become more pronounced after the 2016/17 Jakarta gubernatorial election. Rallies in the name of “Defending Islam” by the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and other conservative Islamic groups led to the landslide defeat of former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (popularly known as Ahok) – a close ally of Jokowi after protesters accused him of committing blasphemy against Islam.
… Alexander R Arifianto PhD is a Research Fellow with the Indonesia Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. This is the first in a series on Indonesia’s upcoming presidential election in 2019.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 23/04/2018