Christian governor falls short in re-election bid
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.