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The president was sufficiently spooked by the volatility in the nation’s sprawling capital to postpone his state visit to Australia, blaming unnamed “political actors” who he said hijacked the otherwise peaceful rally “to take advantage of the situation”.
“[President Jokowi] would undoubtedly be feeling under pressure because he has a lot invested in Ahok,” said Greg Fealy from the School of International, Political and Strategic Studies at the Australian National University.
“If Ahok is charged [with blasphemy] it makes it extremely difficult for him to win the gubernatorial election.”
The position of governor is often a springboard for higher office, as demonstrated by the ascent of President Jokowi, himself a former Jakarta governor.
“Jokowi would be anxious about candidates emerging to challenge him in 2019,” Dr Fealy added.
Read the full article Indonesian President Joko Widodo a target over governor’s alleged blasphemy in The Canberra Times.