Jakarta’s Christian Governor Loses Election, So What’s Next for Islamic Blasphemy Case?

The minority Christian governor of Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, has lost his re-election bid to his Muslim opponent.
Former cabinet minister Anies Baswedan won the office with between 55 and 60 percent of the votes with more than half the returns counted.

The outcome of the race highlights the country’s religious and racial divide.

As the incumbent governor, Basuki Purnama is currently on trial for blasphemy, and many Muslims in Jakarta want him imprisoned or killed.

The blasphemy accusations followed statements Purnama made about the misinterpretation of the Koran while campaigning last year.

He had said his opponents were incorrect when they claimed the Quran prohibits Muslims from having a non-Muslim leader.

“I never had intention of insulting Muslims and insulting the clergy. On that basis, I plead with the judges to consider my exception plea,” said Purnama, also known by his nickname Ahok.

However, Ahok could be spared the five-year prison sentence even if he is found guilty of blasphemy. Indonesian prosecutors are calling for him to face two years probation, according to The Guardian.

They told the court that Ahok’s contribution to the country as governor was a deciding factor in considering a lesser sentence.

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