The Jakarta Post
In an upset decision, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has chosen Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate for the 2019 presidential election.
“The meeting between Jokowi and other party leaders and secretaries-general decided to name Ma’ruf Amin as Jokowi’s running mate,” PKB secretary-general Abdul Kadir Karding said on his Twitter account on Thursday.
Abdul was referring to a meeting between Jokowi and leaders of the parties that back his reelection bid in Menteng, Central Jakarta.
The appointment of Ma’ruf has surprised many as it was widely reported that Jokowi would pick former Constitutional Court chief justice Mahfud MD as his vice presidential candidate.
Ma’ruf, who will turn 76 next year, is the supreme leader of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the nation’s largest Islamic organization.
In terms of influence among Muslim voters, Ma’ruf is seen as being more representative of the NU than Mahfud, who is often described as only “culturally” involved in the NU, but has never held any position in the organization. (ahw)