Chris­tian gov­er­nor falls short in re-elec­tion bid

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

JAKARTA | Un­of­fi­cial re­sults showed the mi­nor­ity Chris­tian gov­er­nor of the In­done­sian cap­i­tal was re­sound­ingly de­feated Wed­nes­day by his Mus­lim chal­lenger who swept up votes by ap­peal­ing to a grow­ing con­ser­vatism in the world’s most pop­u­lous Mus­lim na­tion.

Pre­lim­i­nary re­sults showed that for­mer Cabi­net min­is­ter Anies Baswedan won be­tween 55 and 60 per­cent of votes. In­cum­bent Gov. Ba­suki “Ahok” Tja­haja Pur­nama is on trial for blas­phemy and hun­dreds of thou­sands protested against him in Jakarta, de­rid­ing his Chi­nese an­ces­try and call­ing for him to be im­pris­oned or killed.

Mr. Baswedan, highly ed­u­cated and with a mod­er­ate Mus­lim back­ground, cap­i­tal­ized on the back­lash against Mr. Ahok by court­ing the sup­port of con­ser­va­tive cler­ics and fig­ures on the rad­i­cal fringe who op­posed elect­ing a non-Mus­lim. The po­lar­iz­ing cam­paign gave hard-line Is­lamic groups a na­tional stage and has un­der­mined In­done­sia’s rep­u­ta­tion for prac­tic­ing a mod­er­ate form of Is­lam.

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