Jakarta (ANTARA News) - National Mandate Party (PAN) Executive Chairman Yandri Susanto has urged Ma`ruf Amin, selected by Joko Widodo (Jokowi) as his would-be vice presidential candidate, to step down from the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairmanship post.

"So far, the chairman of MUI has never been directly involved in politics," Susanto noted at the residence of Gerindra Party presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto here on Wednesday.

He remarked that the PAN`s call was based on the suggestions of ulemas and people at the grassroots level.

According to Susanto, Amin`s statement that he will not step down from the MUI chairmanship post until he is installed as a vice president did not bode well with the public.

According to Susanto, the statement hinted that only Amin was able to run the wheels of the organization in the MUI and no one else.

He believes that several Islamic scholars can replace Amin to run the MUI organization, as it does not only represent one mass organization but several Islamic organizations in it.

"I am certain there are still several scholars, who are able to run MUI`s activities, if Amin resigns as general chairperson of the MUI," he remarked.

He opined that the MUI should not be dragged into practical politics and was not held hostage by certain political interests.

On the other hand, he believes that the MUI must function as usual, which is to not be disturbed by the dynamics of the problem of the presidential election.

Incumbent President Jokowi has selected Amin as his running mate in his bid to win the 2019 presidential race for the second term.

Amin has expressed optimism that most Muslims in the country would support Jokowi and him in the election next year.

He said some 400 influential clerics have already expressed their support to the Jokowi-Ma`ruf Amin pair for the election in April.

"Some 400 senior and influential clerics have gathered in Jakarta and declared support to Jokowi and me," he noted at the High End Building in response to newsmen regarding the decision of clerics grouped in the National Fatwa Guards Movement to support his rival pair Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno.

Some 400 clerics congregated at the Asshiddiqiyah Islamic Boarding School here on Saturday to declare support to Jokowi in his bid to seek reelection with Amin, who is a chief cleric, as his running mate.

Amin, who is chairman of the advisory board of Nahdlatul Ulama, which is the biggest Islamic organization in the country, stated that senior clerics, who have expressed support to the Jokowi-Ma`ruf Amin pair, are mostly leaders of Islamic boarding schools from various parts of the country.

Amin believes students of the schools will follow their leaders.

"Students usually follow their clerics," Amin noted.

Speaking in connection with campaigning, which is officially scheduled to start on Sept 23, Amin said he had planned to conduct visits to various regions, including the boarding schools.

Reporting by Imam Budilaksono
Editing by Andi Abdussalam, Suharto


(T.A014/A/KR-BSR/S012) 19-09-2018 18:59:53

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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