The Jakarta Post
Inactive Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama would still be eligible to run for reelection even if he was named a suspect in an ongoing blasphemy case, the Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPUD) said on Saturday.
KPUD Jakarta chairman Sumarno said the only thing that could invalidate Ahok’s candidacy was if a court sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment or more.
“If the sentence is fewer than five years, [he] can continue participating in the election,” Sumarno said.
If a candidate is sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, Sumarno said, political parties endorsing the candidate were required to find a substitute at the very latest 30 days before the election.
“That means political parties should submit a substitute before Jan 15 [if Ahok’s candidacy is invalidated], because the election will take place on Feb. 15,” Sumarno explained.
(Read also: Police at full speed on Ahok blasphemy allegation)
Ahok was accused of religious blasphemy after a video that went viral last month showing him commenting about a verse in the Quran. The blasphemy case is now being investigated by the National Police and Ahok has been summoned to give a statement.
Ahok has repeatedly said he did not mean to insult the Quran and Islam and apologized. He also said on Thursday that he would “rather be arrested and jailed than drop out of the race”. (jun)
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