Non-Muslims Holding High Political Office Shouldn’t Be a Problem in Indonesia

ICC Note: Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, son of former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a possible vice-presidential candidate next year said that Indonesia’s leaders must not be chosen based on their religion, ethnicity or race. His comment comes at a time when religion is increasingly being politicized while radicalism in growing in Indonesia.

08/01/2018 Indonesia (Channel News Asia) – Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, a possible vice-presidential candidate in the country’s 2019 general election, said that Indonesia’s leaders must be chosen “based on capacity, on [their] integrity. Not because of religion, ethnicity or race”.

Mr Agus, the eldest son of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, told the programme Conversation With in a digital exclusive that there is “no problem” with non-Muslims holding high political office in Indonesia.

Mr Agus was a contender in the polarising 2017 race for the governorship of Jakarta – an election campaign that exposed religious and ethnic divisions in the capital of the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.

Christian candidate and then-Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly known as Ahok, was ultimately beaten in his re-election bid by Muslim academic Anies Baswedan, after hardline Islamic-groups accused Mr Ahok of blasphemy against the Koran.

Mr Agus, who came in third in the polls, cautioned: “We must prevent any kind of efforts to politicise religion, ethnicity or race. We cannot use those issues to attack political rivals.

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