Indonesia's Joko Widodo names Muslim cleric as election running mate


Indonesian President Joko Widodo said on Thursday he has picked a Muslim cleric as his running mate for next year's election, in which he is seeking a second term. 

Joko said he had chosen Ma'ruf Amin, the 75-year-old chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI), as his vice-presidential candidate because of his wisdom and experience in the legislature. 

MUI is a semi-official authority on Islam in Indonesia, with powers to issue fatwas, or religious edicts and halal certification.

"We will make a good nationalist-religious combination," Joko said.  The incumbent's rival, in what is expected to be a two-horse race, is former general Prabowo Subianto, whom the incumbent defeated narrowly in the 2014 polls. 

Indonesia's presidential and parliamentary elections will be held simultaneously on 17 April 2019.    (dpa)

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