Selangor Journal

Jakarta selects its Governor on April 19

SHAH ALAM, APR 17:  It is seen that the second round of election for District Head to select the Governor for Jakarta will expose the city to political and religious tension, this April 19.
Reuters reported that the race is pitched between the incumbent Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama who is a Christian of Chinese descent, whose number of votes is coming close to former Education Minister, Anies Baswedan’s votes.
Ahok is currently facing trials for insulting the religion, stemming from a massive campaign led by staunch Islam supporters besides allegations of trying to topple President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo.
This election is seen as a major election ahead of the presidential election in 2019, between groups practicing secular policies post World War II and fanatic Islamist who are getting increasingly stronger lately.
A political analyst and advisor for former President Abdurrahman Wahid, Wimar Witoelar said this election is a test if the Indonesian plural community can stand the pressure from religious groups and populist supporters.
“Indonesia is on a crossroad, and I mean Indonesia not just Jakarta,” he said as reported by MalaysiaKini.
A survey by an Indicator firm shows that Anies is leading with 48.2 percent followed by Ahok with 47.4 percent, while 4.4 percent are neutral.
Businessmen are worried of violence from the losing party, which would ultimately ruin the investment setting besides threatening economic reforms introduced by Jokowi.
Ahok who replaced Jokowi in 2014 as the governor after serving as its deputy was gaining popularity when he managed to address the slow development, chronic flood issues and endemic corruption in the city populated by over 10 million people.

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