Ma’ruf Amin retains post as MUI leader, becomes non-active chairman

Marguerite Afra Sapiie

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta

Jakarta, posted: Wed, August 29, 2018 | 05:40 pm

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (left) walks with non-active Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman and vice president candidate Ma'ruf Amin.(Antara/Yulius Satria Wijaya)

Vice presidential candidate Ma’ruf Amin has decided to step away from his duties as the leader of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) while running for office, but will resign from his post only if he is elected as vice president.

Ma’ruf sought to preserve the council’s independence by requesting that he be made a non-active MUI chairman following his nomination, MUI deputy chairman Zainut Tauhid Sa’adi said as quoted by Antara.

In Ma’ruf’s absence, the MUI’s leadership is now in the hands of his two deputies, Zainut and Yunahar Ilyas. “So the organization will continue to run normally even though our chairman is non-active,” Zainut said.

MUI secretary-general Anwar Abbas praised Ma’ruf’s move, saying there was no regulation within the organization that required an active chairman to become non-active while running for political office.

“In his wisdom, he did that,” he said.

But not everyone is impressed by Ma’ruf’s decision. National Mandate Party (PAN) chairman and People’s Consultative Council speaker Zulkifli Hasan said that Ma’ruf should have resigned from his post following his nomination.

Zulkifli, whose party has officially backed the candidate pair of Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno ahead of the 2019 presidential election, compared Ma’ruf with Sandiaga, who resigned as Jakarta deputy governor after being named vice presidential candidate by Prabowo.

“Why become non-active? Even a deputy governor resigned. Please, resign,” he said as quoted by kompas.com. 

MUI advisory council leader Din Syamsuddin said that Ma’ruf could retain his position during the presidential campaign but that he would be required to resign if elected as vice president. (ahw)

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