2019’s Presidential Election, Contesting Islamic Radicals and Islamic Moderates

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The 2019’s presidential election will be a very important contest. The event will be a cross road for Indonesia. A fierce battle between Islamic hardliners against Islamic moderates in Indonesia. Indonesia has suffered inclination towards Islamic radicals. Thanks to soft measurements against terrorists and hard-liners in Indonesia. This becomes a vital role and even more decisive than any other elections in Indonesia.

The 2019’s presidential election in Indonesia will contest the incumbent President Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto. Political analysts from Russia and the United States predict that the incumbent will take more advantages for the next year event. Thanks to wide spread of infrastructures built across the archipelago.

The challenges ahead will be similar to 2014’s campaigns where Prabowo team used black campaigns – which was denied by the Prabowo campaign team. Then Joko Widodo, known by his nick name Jokowi, was accused of being born in Singapore, and being smeared with other personal groundless allegations.

Joko Widodo will need to work even harder as the resurrection of Islamic radicals in Indonesia. The selection of Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate for VP candidate, chairman of Indonesia Ulemas Council (MUI) who initiated the fatwa of blasphemy act against then Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaya Purnama, has become a strategic point.

Jokowi hopes that his running mate will attract conservatives in Indonesia, and eventually giving him a win.

Meanwhile, Mr. Prabowo Subianto sees the next year’s presidential elections be the last bid for the top job. His team will focus on three main issues such as economic down fall during the Widodo administration, poverty, and religious sentiments in Indonesia. Thanks to the more radical and conservative Indonesia.

Mr. Subianto has been supported by ex Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia followers, of which their organization has been banned by the Jokowi government. Other radical Islam followers supporting Mr. Subianto is Islamic Defender Front (FPI).

Therefore, the next year’s contest will become a battle between Indonesia’s nationalists (Mr. Jokowi) against Indonesia’s islamic radicals (Mr. Prabowo).

The tight elections will be very decisive for the future of Indonesia. Indonesia is indeed at its cross-roads either remaining as a secular-religious state (if Mr. Jokowi wins) or a conservative Islamic hard-line state (if Mr. Prabowo wins).

From international perspective, both the US and Russia see the next year’s presidential election as a test-case model for cracy, whether cracy will prevail under populairism and Islamic radicalism. Happy greetings of my way! (Ninoy N Karundeng)