South China Morning Post reports that smear campaigns have escalated ahead of Indonesia’s presidential election on July 9th, with the candidates’ supporters playing dirty to control the messages in the media. Joko Widodo is currently the frontrunner and the only contender is Prabowo Subianto. The rumor that Widodo was an ethnic Chinese Christian, according to commentators, has contributed to “a steep fall in support” for him.
07/03/2014 Indonesia (South China Morning Post)- While President Barack Obama was accused of being a Kenyan-born Muslim before being elected, in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, presidential frontrunner Joko Widodo has been branded an ethnic Chinese Christian.
Smear campaigns have escalated ahead of next Wednesday’s election, with the candidates’ supporters playing dirty to control the messages swirling in the media, a trend commentators say has contributed to a steep fall in support for Widodo.
In another attack, a senior official from the party of Prabowo Subianto, the only other contender, suggested on Twitter Widodo was a communist, playing on fears that linger from the era of dictator Suharto, who demonised the far-left.
While Widodo – known by his nickname Jokowi – has borne the brunt of the attacks, Prabowo has also been targeted.