The Jakarta Post
Two days prior to the Jakarta gubernatorial runoff election, which has sparked sectarian conflicts, organizations from various religions have called for a peaceful democratic process in determining new leaders for the capital, the most diverse city in the archipelago.
Seven organizations, the Nahdlatul Ulama executive council (PBNU), the Indonesia Bishops Conference (KWI), the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI), the Nichiren Shoshu Indonesia (NSI), the Indonesian Parisada Hindu Council (PHDI), the Islamic Organization Friendship Body (LPOI) and the Confucian Supreme Council of Indonesia (Matakin), declared on Monday their support for democracy in the midst of one of the most heated elections in Indonesia’s history.
They urged their members to use their political rights without qualms and to respect the outcome of the election.
“We need to remain calm and fearless and to think clearly in dealing with the situation. We are obligated to support the government’s efforts in handling the second round of the Jakarta election and we should safeguard the peace and unity of the nation,” representatives of each organization said in a joint statement at the PBNU headquarters in Central Jakarta.
PBNU chairman Said Aqil Siradj said Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization acknowledged that the tension in the capital had drawn nationwide attention and the exploitation of religion for certain political gain would grow rampant should religious organizations fail to decry the move.
PGI chairwoman Rev. Henriette T. Hutabarat-Lebang said that she had urged members of the organization exercise their political rights. "I urge them to refuse any kind of money and transactional politics," she said.