What Does Ahok’s Loss Mean for Indonesia and Jokowi?

Supporters of Jakarta's former governor, Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, display a poster that reads "Free Ahok" during a rally outside the court where his sentencing hearing was held, Jakarta, May 9, 2017 (AP photo by Dita Alangkara).
Supporters of Jakarta's former governor, Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, display a poster that reads "Free Ahok" during a rally outside the court where his sentencing hearing was held, Jakarta, May 9, 2017 (AP photo by Dita Alangkara).
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Last month in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama—the Christian and ethnically Chinese governor of Jakarta popularly known as Ahok—lost his re-election bid. The election was ugly, as Ahok was simultaneously on trial for blasphemy and the target of a perceived smear campaign by hard-line Islamists. Ahok’s defeat in the runoff by Anies Baswedan, a former education minister, was followed last week by the court handing him a two-year jail sentence, which has sparked fears about the growth of religious radicalism in Indonesia. But the blasphemy conviction has also prompted questions about the re-election prospects of Indonesian […]

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