Jakarta election exposes deep political, religious divide

By REUTERS
April 17, 2017 05:13
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Jakarta voters head to the polls on Wednesday to elect a governor for Indonesia's teeming capital after a campaign that incited political and religious tensions in the world's most-populous Muslim country.

Surveys have shown the race tightening to a statistical dead heat, with incumbent Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese Christian, closing in on rival Anies Baswedan, a former education minister.

Purnama is standing trial on blasphemy charges stemming from the divisive campaign that also featured mass rallies led by Islamist hardliners and alleged plots to overthrow President Joko Widodo, who is popularly known as Jokowi.

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