Indonesia Votes As 'everyman' President Battles Firebrand Ex-general
Faizan Hashmi 5 days ago Wed 17th April 2019 | 09:15 AM
Jakarta, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Apr, 2019 ) :Across 17,000 islands, from the jungles of Borneo to the slums of Jakarta, millions of Indonesians were going to the polls Wednesday in one of the world's biggest exercises in democracy.
Horses, elephants, motorbikes, boats and planes have been pressed into service to get ballot boxes out across the vast archipelago.
But Widodo, a political outsider with an everyman personality when he swept to victory in 2014, has seen his rights record criticised owing to an uptick in discriminatory attacks on religious and other minorities, including a small LGBT community, as Islamic hardliners become more vocal in public life.
His choice of conservative cleric Ma'ruf Amin as his running mate has also raised fears about the future of Indonesia's reputation for moderate Islam.
"There's clearly less enthusiasm for Widodo now," said Kevin O'Rourke, an Indonesia-based political risk analyst.
"His popularity is still up there... but he is not the inspiring figure that he was five years ago."