News analysis

Testing time ahead for Jokowi's No.2 pick Ma'ruf Amin as Indonesia elections near

Jokowi's No. 2 in presidential election must pull in voters to counter appeal of challenger

The venerable ulema Ma'ruf Amin was an unlikely but tactical pick by President Joko Widodo as his running mate to strengthen his position among conservatives ahead of the elections next year.

Many expected the former supreme leader of the 80 million-strong Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) to help Mr Joko lock in the support of Indonesia's largest Muslim organisation or, at least, curtail any potential threat from hardline Islamic groups.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2018, with the headline 'Testing time ahead for Ma'ruf Amin as polls near'. Print Edition | Subscribe