The Jakarta Post
Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama has called on his supporters to accept the police’s decision to charge him with blasphemy, telling them to fight on as if his election bid is running as normal.
“I call on all supporters to accept me being named a suspect. I believe the police are being professional,” he said during a press conference in Rumah Lembang, his campaign headquarters, in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday.
“This is not the end. There will be a trial,” he said.
The embattled governor, who remains the candidate to beat according to various surveys, said he wanted his trial to be as transparent as possible.
“I hope the trial will be open to the public and TV reporters will broadcast it like [they did when covering] Jessica’s cyanide coffee case. It was broadcasted and watched by all people,” he said, referring to the murder trial of Jessica Kumala Wongso, who was convicted of killing her friend with cyanide-laced coffee.
The police initially planned to televise the case screening process of Ahok’s blasphemy case, but dropped the plan.
Ahok asked his supporters to go the ballot box and vote for him and his running mate, Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat, on Feb 15—the date of next year's gubernatorial election.
“Let’s keep our spirits high. We will win the election in a single round,” he said.
Ahok, a Christian of Chinese descent in the Muslim-majority country, sparked the outrage of several Muslim groups after telling fishermen in Thousand Islands regency in late September that some people had been exploiting a Quranic verse to convince people not to vote for him. (ary)
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