Indonesia election: Most Islamic parties fail to make inroads at ballot box

(From left) Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) president M. Sohibul Iman and secretary-general Mustafa Kamal on Sunday celebrating the party's founding 21 years ago. PKS was the only Islamic party to make gains in Indonesia's elections.
(From left) Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) president M. Sohibul Iman and secretary-general Mustafa Kamal on Sunday celebrating the party's founding 21 years ago. PKS was the only Islamic party to make gains in Indonesia's elections.PHOTO: PARTAI KEADILAN SEJAHTERA/FACEBOOK

Despite a rightward shift among Indonesia's 190 million voters, Islamic parties failed to make much headway as fiery religious rhetoric turned off moderate voters and the country's big nationalist parties did a better job vying for the support of the faithful.

Local governments may be introducing syariah-like rules and the capital may still be reeling from the fallout of the jailing of the former governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama for blasphemy.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2019, with the headline 'Most Islamic parties fail to make inroads at ballot box'. Print Edition | Subscribe