Din Syamsuddin defends Ma'ruf Amin

Din Syamsuddin defends Ma'ruf Amin

The presidential and vice presidential candidates, Joko Widodo (left) and Ma'ruf Amin (right) posed after the pair registered at the General Election Commission (KPU) on Friday (10/8/2018). (ANTARA PhOTO/Akbar Nugroho Gumay/foc/18)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Head of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Advisory Council Din Syamsuddin has defended the appointment of MUI General Chairman Ma'ruf Amin as incumbent President Joko Widodo's running mate for next year's presidential race, arguing that there is no separation of faith and politics in Islam.

"Therefore, it is not a problem if ulemas get involved in real politics as long as they consistently bring religious values into their leadership," he told journalists after speaking at a press briefing on the 7th World Peace Forum here on Monday.

The ulemas, who have decided to get involved in the real politics, should also be aware of the fact that they can gain the people`s support or can fail to have it, said Din Syamsuddin, who is also the presidential special envoy for inter-religion dialogue and partnership.

If they successfully grab the power, they must also be ready for not fighting for their vested interests but for the greater good of majority of the people, he said adding that they need to be guided by the religous values in their political leadership by prioritizing morality and the people's welfare.

Incumbent President Joko Widodo and the coalition parties supporting his efforts to grab a victory in the 2019 Presidential Election had selected Ma'ruf Amin to be his running mate.

As the cadre of the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDIP), the incumbent head of state, commonly known as his nickname Jokowi, his presidential nomination is backed by the Megawati Soekarnoputri-led party and eight other political parties.

The eight parties are the PPP, Golkar Party, National Democratic Party (Nasdem), National Awakening Party (PKB), The United Indonesia Party (Perindo), the Indonesian Justice and Unity Partys (PKPI), and Indonesia Solidarity Party (PSI).

This pair is challenged by Chief Patron of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Prabowo Subianto, who has chosen Sandiaga Uno, former deputy Jakarta governor, as his running mate. They are supported by the Muslim-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), National Mandate Party (PAN), and Democratic Party.

The two pairs had registered at the General Election Commission (KPU) in Central Jakarta on August 10. Then, on August 12, the Jokowi-Ma'ruf pair underwent a medical check-up at the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital while their rival got the medical check-up at the same hospital on Monday (Aug 13).

Reporting by Martha Herlinawati S
Editing by Rahmad Nasution