Jakarta Post

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
Video Weather icon 26°C
DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
26°C Light Rain

Rain until tomorrow morning, starting again tomorrow afternoon.

  • Thu

    26℃ - 31℃

  • Fri

    26℃ - 32℃

  • Sat

    27℃ - 32℃

  • Sun

    26℃ - 30℃

Ex-running mate defends Ahok in hearing

  • Callistasia Anggun Wijaya
    Callistasia Anggun Wijaya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, March 7, 2017 | 01:29 pm
Ex-running mate defends Ahok in hearing Jakarta Govenor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama listens to the testimony of Islam Defenders Front (FPI) chairman Rizieq Shihab during a hearing at the North Jakarta District Court on Feb.28. (Media Indonesia/POOL/Ramdani/ via JP)

Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama’s former running mate in the 2007 Bangka Belitung gubernatorial election, Eko Cahyono, defended the incumbent in a hearing of his blasphemy trial on Tuesday.

In the thirteenth hearing of the governor’s trial at the North Jakarta District Court, Eko said certain parties had used the Quranic verse to hurt Ahok’s chances of winning the Jakarta election.

Eko, who now serves as vice rector at Darma Persada University Jakarta, said that when Ahok ran for governor in the Bangka Belitung election, many people used religious issues to attack him.

He said religious issues were the reason he and Ahok lost the election, although, he added, several technical glitches that occurred on voting day also contributed to their failure, Eko said. 

(Read also: Ahok presents witnesses for first time in blasphemy trial)

“In sermons during Friday prayers in Bangka Belitung, religious leaders prohibited people from voting for a non-Muslim leader.  Pamphlets, which encourage people not to choose a non-Muslim as their leader, were distributed; but, I didn't know which parties were responsible for spreading them,” Eko told the panel of judges at the hearing, which took place at the Agriculture Ministry in Ragunan, South Jakarta. 

In addition to Eko, Jakarta-chapter Golkar Party politician Bambang Waluyo Djojohadikoesoemo and Analta Amier, who is Ahok's half-brother, were also presented by the defendant as witnesses in Tuesday’s hearing.

Eko said that in 2007, Indonesia's fourth president Abdurrahman Wahid, who is popularly known as “Gus Dur”, campaigned for the pair and said that religious matters should not be brought into gubernatorial elections.

According to Eko, Gus Dur said that people should prioritize competence, not religious background, as a gubernatorial post should be considered as a public service.  (ebf)