Courting The Hardliners, Counting The Votes In Indonesia's Crucial Poll

What about the sharia-based industry plan? That, he says, is just about capturing the economic potential of the growing "halal tourism" dollar, which Thailand and Japan are already doing.

"The philosophy is not about religion or politics, it’s purely economic. The economic potential is so big. Indonesia’s biggest problem right now is not politics or religion but the economy. And friendly countries should not be afraid if Prabowo-Sandi win the election because both are Western-educated."

The ANU's Mietzner is more skeptical about the conduct of both candidates' campaign teams to date.

"The Prabowo camp is essentially re-running the 2014 themes: Jokowi is a communist, is going to secularise Indonesia, sell the country to the Chinese kafir [infidel]. It is the Jokowi camp that has significantly stepped up its campaign in this regard in comparison to 2014," he says.

"It now runs an aggressive, above-the-ground campaign that suggests Prabowo is not a practicing Muslim; that his Muslim credentials are in doubt because of his non-Muslim family members; and that he doesn't have an intact family, given his divorce and (although this remains unspoken) gay son. Jokowi's parading of his grandchildren during the campaign hit right into this spot."

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Courting the hardliners, counting the votes in Indonesia's crucial poll
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