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Jakarta voters oust Christian politician in show of Islamist power
April 19, 2017
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Jakarta’s first Christian governor in generations lost his re-election bid Wednesday, according to unofficial results, after a heated sectarian campaign that underscored the influence of hard-line Islamists in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. The outcome also raised questions about whether moderate Muslim political factions could face increasing pressure from hard-line groups energized by the Jakarta victory. The incumbent governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, was known for tough anticorruption drives and challenges to hard-line Muslim groups that have taken on an increasingly central role in Indonesian politics. “You won’t see a governor as clean as Ahok again,” said Tsamara Amany, a university student and activist, referring to the governor by his nickname. While the election sloganeering was mainly expressed in religious terms, the vote also reflected class tensions in a country with some of the starkest income inequalities in the world, analysts said.