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Indonesia: Conservative Islamic Group Says Muslims Cannot Vote For Non-Muslims

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Muslims are not allowed to vote for non-Muslims in upcoming elections said a decree issued by a group of senior politicians and conservative Islamic groups who met at a mosque in Jakarta on Sept. 18.

The decree forbidding Muslims voting for a ‘non-believer’ was made ahead of next year’s guber­natorial (governor) elections and is being seen as a way to counter the re-election hopes of current governor of Jakarta, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who is a Christian, and ethnic Chinese Indonesian.

Political analyst and pollster Djayadi Hanan, told The Australian that Indonesia is currently fertile ground for identity politics.

“Ahok is a double minority — he is ethnically Chinese and he is a non-Muslim, and people can be rallied around those issues,” Hanan said.

“According to our surveys, around 45 percent of Jakarta’s Muslims agree Muslims should not be led by non-Muslims,” he said.

More than 80 percent of Jakarta’s voters are Muslims, said the report which added that the decree was spurned by Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah.

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