Indonesian president picks cleric as running mate in 2019

By: AP | Jakarta |
Updated: August 10, 2018 3:10:47 pm

Indonesia President Joko Widodo has pledged to protect Indonesia’s tradition of pluralism and moderate Islam. (File)

The battle lines for Indonesia’s 2019 presidential election were drawn today as President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo formally registered as a candidate after choosing a conservative Islamic cleric as his running mate.

Jokowi, the first Indonesian president from outside the military and political elite, announced his vice-presidential candidate, Ma’ruf Amin, yesterday after weeks of fevered speculation in local media.

Jokowi’s pick has become bigger news in Indonesia, the world’s third-largest democracy, than an earthquake on the island of Lombok that killed more than 300 people.

Amin heads the influential Indonesian Ulema Council and the advisory council of Nahdlatul Ulama,…

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