News analysis

Indonesian leader's image hurt by decision to free radical cleric

Radical Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir's fate is up in the air, following President Joko Widodo's administration's vow on Monday to review the decision to grant him an early release from his 15-year jail term.

But while the influential cleric's freedom is shrouded in uncertainty, one thing is for sure: For Mr Joko, who is running a tight race for re-election, the damage is done.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2019, with the headline 'Indonesian leader's image hurt by decision to free radical cleric'. Print Edition | Subscribe