Indonesian president picks cleric as running mate in 2019:The Asahi Shimbun

Widodo chooses cleric as VP pick in election race

Widodo chooses cleric as VP pick in election race

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (2nd L) and his vice-presidential running mate for the 2019 presidential election Islamic cleric Ma'ruf Amin (2nd R) applaud along with Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) leader and former president Megawati Sukarnoputri (R) and other coalition party members while greeting supporters in Jakarta, Indonesia Aug 10, 2018.

The head of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo), Hariyadi Sukamdani, viewed the president's decision to tap Ma'aruf Amin as his running mate in the 2019 election was Jokowi's attempt to suppress issues of identity politics, which poses a threat towards Indonesia's unity.

Ma'ruf has served as the chairman of the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) and Advisory Leader of the Nahdlatul Ulama, the world's largest Muslim organization.

"Democracy is not war, democracy is not hostility, but is a contest of ideas, track record and achievements", Jokowi said Friday.

Associate Professor Fealey said Mr Amin would provide a "political shield" to Jokowi, who is sometimes accused of not being religious enough.

The most prominent of those campaigns was mass protests against Jakarta's popular governor Basuki "Ahok" Purnama in 2016, over questionable accusations he committed blasphemy, which is illegal in Indonesia.

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

Arie Firdaus  BenarNews
Arie Firdaus BenarNews

A longtime commander in Indonesia's "Kopassus" special forces, Subianto was discharged from the military in 1998 after Kopassus soldiers tortured activists who opposed dictator Suharto.

Gerindra's deputy chairman Arief Poyuono said the Prabowo-Uno team would mean the opposition had candidates from both Java and outside Indonesia's most populous island. "Whatever the people's decision, we have to respect it", Subianto said.

"We just want to be in power with the permission of the Indonesian people".

Ahok lost the Jakarta gubernatorial election to a Muslim candidate, Anies Baswedan, and was later sentenced to two years in prison for blasphemy. After registering, Jokowi praised his opponents.

Next year's election will be a re-run of the 2014 presidential poll, with former military strongman Prabowo Subianto declaring his candidacy once again.

Political analyst Arya Fernandes, of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, told The Straits Times that Jokowi's fielding of Ma'ruf shows the president's willingness to compromise and accommodate interests of various political parties. However, we are still waiting for the official announcement.

'We have to be like Rocky' - Klopp comments on Liverpool's title chances
The buzz is good at West Ham too, compared to this time a year ago . Analysis is pretty non-existent at this stage, but no problem. Liverpool have strengthened heavily with the likes of Keita.

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