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Jakarta Post

Presidential race hovers around religiosity

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie and Nurul Fitri Ramadhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, April 9, 2019   /  09:39 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Move on up: Participants from vocational school SMK Malang in East Java show off their modern dance moves in the General Elections Commission (KPU) Flashmob Dance category during the 2019 Malang Dance Festival in the Gajayana Building in Malang on Monday. High school students across Malang took part in the competition held to encourage first-time voters to cast their votes on polling day on April 17 as well as to celebrate the 105th anniversary of the city. (The Jakarta Post/Aman Rochman)

For Nur Aini, voting for a pious Muslim candidate in the upcoming presidential election is important. Although she lives in a democratic country, Nur believes that as a Muslim, her religion serves as a guide for the election. As her only options in the two-horse race are incumbent Joko “Jokowi” Widodo or challenger Prabowo Subianto — who are both Muslim — Nur said she looked at their backgrounds and supporting parties, among other things, to find out how religious they were. Nur pointed out that she thought Jokowi’s reelection bid was backed by more liberal parties such as the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), while Prabowo’s candidacy was backed by Muslim clerics. “Knowing their track record is necessary, but it’s more important to vote for a candidate with piety because a devoutly religious person would carry out t...