The Jakarta Post
The Nanggroe Aceh Party (PNA) has decided to support incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin in the 2019 presidential election.
“We are fully supporting Jokowi-Ma’ruf in the election to continue and finish the existing development program for the welfare of the public, especially in Aceh province, as a part of this country,” party chairman Irwandi Yusuf, who is currently standing trial on corruption allegations, said in a written statement on Tuesday.
To win in Aceh, where Jokowi suffered a defeat to rival Prabowo Subianto in 2014, the PNA -- which controls three legislative seats in Aceh, out of total 81 seats -- would work to promote a number of Jokowi's development programs.
“We will do just as we did for Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla in the 2014 presidential election,” said Irwandi, the suspended Aceh governor who is in the custody of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
The Jokowi-Ma’ruf campaign team is targeting a victory of 60 percent in the country’s northernmost province -- which is also the only region in Indonesia that implements sharia -- in the upcoming race.
In the 2014 presidential election, Jokowi and Kalla clinched 45 percent of the vote in the province.
A group of Muslim clerics in Aceh has been trying to get both presidential and vice-presidential candidates to compete in a Quran reading competition there, to determine the best leader for the country, which has a majority Muslim population. The test was initially scheduled to be held on Jan. 15 in Banda Aceh but the plan has yet to materialize.
Jokowi-Ma'ruf’s campaign team has agreed to take the test if the public demands one. On the other hand, the campaign team for the Prabowo-Sandiaga Uno pair, which is backed by Islamic-leaning parties the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the National Mandate Party (PAN), said such a test was unnecessary, or that if it did take place, the test's organizers should prove that they were experts in reading the Quran. (ggq/ipa)