Christians prefer Jokowi for president: Indonesian priest

Known as Jokowi, 50-year-old Widodo is the governor of Jakarta.

June 18 2014, 1:31 PM
Christians prefer Jokowi for president: Indonesian priest
Joko Widodo

“In the presidential elections to be held on July 9, Indonesian Christians show a preference for Joko Widodo over the other candidate former general Prabowo Subianto,” Father Benny Suseyto, secretary of the Commission for Interreligious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishops' Conference has said.

Known as Jokowi, 50-year-old Widodo is the governor of Jakarta.

"Jokowi is a leader who has put on his agenda the issues of human rights and freedoms, the rights of minorities, the fight against religious intolerance, in addition to the urgent issue of the fight against corruption. He is a candidate who desires to lead a democratic and pluralistic Indonesia. He talks about peace, harmony, justice and the common good; he is well thought of by Christians," explained Father Suseyto.

On the other hand, "Prabowo Subianto has recently found the support of Islamic parties and also of radical Islamic groups, such as the Islamic Defenders Front, promoters of hatred and violence in society. This has caused disappointment in the areas of civil society that pays more attention to human rights issues. In addition, Subianto is a man linked to the old state and military apparatus, and is regarded as a continuation of the old policy," the priest listed former general’s failings.

In Indonesian society, there is an ongoing process of social and cultural transformation in which new generations have a greater demographic weight. There are 75 million young voters who will vote for a president for the first time. “Young people are far from the old establishment that ruled the country, and as advocates of a renewal of the ruling classes, support Joko Widodo, the new man of politics,” said the priest.

Father Suseyto said that the Christians expect the new President to defeat corruption, support the Pancasila (the five philosophical principles underlying the cohabitation in the nation) and strengthen the rule of law by stopping the abuse of power and impunity of radical Islamic groups in society.

With regards to the elections, the Indonesian Bishops had recently asked the faithful to choose candidates who "have a desire to serve others rather than pursuing their own self-interest", looking carefully at "who maintains high principles and values of democracy" and promotes tolerance.

Source: Agenzia Fides