Indonesian religious figures call for fair competition

Indonesian religious figures call for fair competition

Photo document of socialization pair candidate for president of the Republic of Indonesia 2014-2019 Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa and Joko Widodo-M. Jusuf Kalla (Jokowi-JK). (ANTARA/Rahmad)

In addition, bribing voters and smear campaigns must be avoided as they fool people and reduce the quality of democracy."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Various religious groups from the Indonesia Inter-Religious Council (IRC) have called on rival camps to compete fairly with a spirit of brotherhood during the upcoming presidential election on July 9.

"Campaign methods that could divide the community, create animosity among citizens, and damage national unity must be avoided," the general chairman of the Supreme Council for Confucian Religion in Indonesia (Matakin) Wawan Wiratama said at a press conference here on Friday.

He affirmed that all sites must use the election momentum in educating people to increase their political awareness and increase their political participation in the development of statehood and nationhood.

"In addition, bribing voters and smear campaigns must be avoided as they fool people and reduce the quality of democracy," he added.

The IRC also called on all parties involved in the election to use the greatness and universality of religious values as a reference for their activities.

"We call on all parties and institutions involved in the election not to use religious sentiments for instant political interests and prevent politicization of religion," he noted.

Meanwhile, the IRC appealed to the people to exercise their franchise responsibly, respect democracy and fellow citizens, and accept and recognize the result of the election, however it turns out to be.

The conference was attended by the general chairman of one of Indonesias major Islamic organizations Muhammadiyah, Din Syamsuddin; the general secretary of the Communion of Indonesian Churches, Priest Gomar Gultom; culturalist Franz Magnis-Suseno; the secretary of the Indonesian Hinduism Society, Nyoman Udayana Sangging.

Also the associate chairman of the other major Islamic organization in Indonesia Nahdlatul Ulama, M Iqbal Sullam; the executive secretary of the Indonesian Bishop Conference, Rev. Edy Purwanto; and the associate chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulema, Slamet Effendy Yusuf.

The presidential election will be contested by Prabowo Subianto with Hatta Rajasa as his running mate and Joko Widodo with Jusuf Kalla as his running mate.

Prabowo is a former army general, while Hatta Rajasa is a former economic minister.

Joko Widodo or Jokowi as he is popularly known is Jakarta governor, while M. Jusuf Kalla is a former vice president.

The Prabowo-Hatta pair is supported by the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), Golkar Party, and Islamic parties PAN, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the United Development Party (PPP), and the Moon and Star Party (PBB).

Meanwhile, the Jokowi-JK pair is supported by the Indonesia Democratic Party Struggle (PDIP), Islamic party Nation Awakening Party (PKB), the Peoples Conscience Party (Hanura), the Justice and Indonesian Unity Party (PKPI), and the National Democrats Party (Nasdem).

(Reported by Azis Kurmala/A063/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/A014)