Ahead of runoff election, religious and ethnic smears flare up
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Jakarta | Wed, August 01 2012, 10:39 PM
Ahead of the Jakarta gubernatorial election runoff, campaigns espousing hatred or support based on gubernatorial candidates’ religious or ethnic backgrounds have continued to arise despite a ban by the city's Election Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu).
Such campaigning is known by the acronym SARA from suku (ethnicity), agama (religion), ras (race) and antargolongan (intergroup relations).
On Wednesday, banners were found stating “Tionghua (Chinese descent) and Christians are proud to support gubernatorial candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo-Basuki Tjahaja Purnama”. The banners were found in a number of areas in North and West Jakarta.
Basuki, better known is Ahok, is a Christian of Chinese descent, and a former regent in his home province, the Bangka Belitung Islands.