MUI urges Muslims to cast votes and avoid "golput"

MUI urges Muslims to cast votes and avoid "golput"

Indonesian Muslims performed prayers. (ANTARA /Wahyu Putro A)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Ulema Council`s (MUI) Advisory Body has called on Muslims all over the country to avoid "Golput," an abbreviation for "White Group," or those abstaining from voting in the upcoming general elections.

Instead, all Muslims who are eligible voters are encouraged to come to the polling stations on April 17, 2019, because leadership is an important matter in Islam, KH Hasan Abdullah Sahal, a member of the council`s advisory body, stated here on Wednesday.

"The leadership cannot be left behind. Therefore, please do not abstain from voting. Belonging to the `Golput` means that someone is ignorant. This behavior is not justifiable," he noted, adding that Islam teaches its followers to become responsible people.

Abstaining from casting votes in the elections shows ignorance that would only bring about regret and disappointment. Hence, all Muslims in Indonesia are urged to use their voting rights in the upcoming elections.

The parliamentary and presidential elections, due to be held simultaneously in all parts of Indonesia on April 17, 2019, were not merely regarded as a feisty of democracy, but were also perceived as a mandate of leadership of the people, he remarked.

Considering the importance of this democratic process, the Muslim community members, who have rights to vote, are required to exercise their voting rights, he added.

Hasan Abdullah Sahal also warned that having different political preferences were acceptable in democracy. Therefore, the community members should be mature enough to face the differences and must not be easily provoked.

"Do not let the event, which is just held once in five years, damage and put our everlasting brotherhood at risk," he explained.

In connection with the 2019 Presidential Election, the General Election Commissions (KPU) has prepared five rounds of presidential debates for the pairs of Joko Widodo-Ma`ruf Amin and Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno.

The presidential debates, broadcast live by several television channels, are expected to help some 192 million eligible voters, who will participate in this democratic process, to become well-informed on the two pairs` capacity and capability.

Empowered with sufficient information about the candidates, they will be able to vote rationally. Whoever wins the upcoming presidential election, Indonesia will have a new pair of capable president and vice president.

Reporting by Anom Prihantoro, Rahmad Nasution