The Jakarta Post
A majority of residents in religiously conservative West Java, home to approximately 47 million people, are unlikely to cast their ballots on candidates practicing polygamy, a new study shows ahead of the gubernatorial election scheduled for June.
The survey, commissioned by Jakarta-based pollster Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI), reveals that 81.4 percent of 440 respondents surveyed in West Java, the most populated province in the country, reject gubernatorial and vice-gubernatorial candidates who are polygamous.
"Candidates must take this concern seriously, since [more than 80 percent] of the public in the region say they object to gubernatorial candidates who have more than one wife leading West Java," LSI Citra Komunikasi executive director Toto Izul Fatah said, as quoted by tribunnews.com on Sunday.
Four candidate pairs - Ridwan Kamil and Uu Ruzhanul Ulum, Sudrajat and Ahmad Syaikhu, Deddy Mizwar and Dedi Mulyadi, and Tubagus Hasanuddin and Anton Charliyan - are set to contest the June election.
Although regarded as the home of many conservative Muslim groups that often claim that polygamy is allowed in Islam, the people of West Java appear to take a different stance on the subject, as seen in the case of Islamic preacher Abdullah Gymnastiar, or Aa Gym.
Aa Gym, who was once the country's most popular preacher, saw his popularity plummet following an announcement that he had taken a second wife in 2006, which immediately sparked a national debate on polygamy. (afr/swd)