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Jakarta Post

Bawaslu investigates potential violations at 212 reunion rally

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, December 4, 2018   /   06:45 pm
Bawaslu investigates potential violations at 212 reunion rally Thousands of people gather around the National Monument (Monas) in Central Jakarta for the 212 reunion rally on Sunday. (Antara/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)
The Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) has launched an investigation into potential violations of election regulations in a rally held on Sunday and organized by a group calling itself the 212 Rally Alumni, referring to a rally held in 2016. 
Sunday's rally, attended by hundreds of thousands of people, called on Muslim voters to shun presidential candidates and political parties that supported former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, the city’s first Chinese and second Christian governor.

Ahok is serving a two-year prison sentence after being convicted of blasphemy in 2017. In 2016, the 212 movement staged what observers said was the largest peaceful protest since 1998 to demand Ahok’s prosecution for insinuating that politicians had used Quranic verse to manipulate voters to vote against Ahok.

Bawaslu member Mochammad Afifuddin said the agency decided to proceed with the investigation based on its own findings.

“We haven’t received any reports yet but now we are reviewing the potential violations,” he told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

During the rally, Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab, who is currently in Saudi Arabia, said in a prerecorded video that it was haram to vote for presidential and legislative candidates backed by Ahok’s supporting parties, based on edicts issued by religious leaders.

The FPI also endorsed the anti-President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo movement united under the hashtag #2019GantiPresiden (2019ChangePresident).

Based on the General Elections Law, a campaign event involving more than 3,000 people on a national scale can only be held between March 24 and April 13, 2019. (ggq/swd)