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Who did Jokowi handpick to be his 2019 running mate?

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INDONESIAN President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Thursday announced the selection of a prominent Islamist cleric and nonpolitical party figure Ma’ruf Amin as his vice-presidential candidate, as he looks to bolster his Islamic image and secure another term in office.

Jokowi’s selection of 75-year-old Ma’ruf comes at a time when the Muslim-majority country is experiencing the decline of its pluralistic brand of Islam and the rise of religious fundamentalism promulgated by influential far-right groups.

With Ma’ruf fielded as running-mate, the moderate Jokowi will be facing off with former general Prabowo Subianto and the deputy governor of Jakarta, Sandiaga Uno. Both of Jokowi’s opponents are nationalists with deep ties to the business and military elite, as well as popular ultraconservative religious groups like the Islamic Defenders Front (IDF).

SEE ALSO: Prabowo enters Indonesia’s 2019 election race after months of indecision

Widodo’s selection came as a surprise to many. Hours before the announcement, former chief justice Mahfud MD touted himself as the Widodo’s........

© Asian Correspondent