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Jakarta Post

Rizieq becomes pawn in political power play

  • Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, July 10, 2019   /  09:07 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Islam Defenders Front leader Rizieq Shihab(Antara Foto/Puspa Perwitasari)

An attempt at reconciliation between President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his former challenger Prabowo Subianto has encountered another hurdle as the latter has demanded that the embattled cleric Rizieq Shihab be allowed to return home unconditionally. After the two camps reportedly courted the possibility of Prabowo’s Gerindra Party, currently the country’s second largest party, joining the ruling coalition, party executives revealed that Gerindra’s patron wanted no less than the unconditional return of the firebrand cleric who flew to self-exile in Mecca after being charged with two crimes. Gerindra secretary-general Ahmad Muzani said Rizieq’s return was one of Prabowo’s terms for reconciliation with Jokowi after the polarizing presidential election in April. Prabowo was the presidential candidate supported by the 212 Movement of conservat...