Who did Jokowi handpick to be his 2019 running mate?

Ma'ruf Amin is an Indonesian Islamic scholar seventh leader of the Indonesian Ulema Council as well as the tenth chairman of the advisory council of en:Nahdlatul Ulama

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has chosen a conservative Muslim cleric who has railed against homosexuality and once issued a fatwa against secularism as his running mate for next year's election.

"We complement each other", Jokowi told reporters after announcing the decision at the end of a gathering in Jakarta attended by the leaders of parties supporting his candidacy.

The head of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo), Hariyadi Sukamdani, viewed the president's decision to tap Ma'aruf Amin as his running mate in the 2019 election was Jokowi's attempt to suppress issues of identity politics, which poses a threat towards Indonesia's unity.

Jokowi's pick has become bigger news in Indonesia, the world's third-largest democracy, than an natural disaster on the island of Lombok that killed more than 300 people. Amin is now Chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (Majelis Ulama Indonesia) as well as Chairman of the advisory council of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the world's largest Islamic organization.

"Democracy is not war, democracy is not hostility, but is a contest of ideas, track record and achievements", Jokowi said Friday.

The pair will square off against Prabowo and deputy Jakarta governor Sandiaga Uno, a former businessman and private equity tycoon. For many years religious and political figures belonging to the Islamic world accused him of being anti-Islam; of coming from a Communist family and from the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI); of favoring favor the Chinese minorities, very powerful in the country, who come to Indonesia to work in multinationals and in various commercial companies.

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"Any change of government, from village and district chiefs and governor and president, must run safely, peacefully and honestly".

Prabowo's candidate for Jakarta governor won the election, which analysts and rights advocates condemned for inflaming sectarian sentiment. "We want to be dedicated so that there will be no more hungry people, no more poor people in Indonesia and justice must be felt by all Indonesian people", he said. After registering, Jokowi praised his opponents.

Jokowi is seeking a second five-year term as president in the election scheduled for April 17, 2019.

"Gerindra, PKS and PAN have entrusted me and Sandiaga Uno to be their presidential and vice-presidential candidates", Prabowo said at his home in southern Jakarta, referring to his party and its coalition partners.

Prabowo testily refused to accept the election results and withdrew just hours before the announcement of official results.

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