Non-Muslim to be sworn in as Jakarta governor despite protests

By REUTERS
November 19, 2014 05:19

JAKARTA - Jakarta's first Christian governor in nearly 50 years is expected to be sworn in on Wednesday, despite protests from religious hardliners opposing a non-Muslim taking over one of Indonesia's most powerful political jobs.

President Joko Widodo will take part in the swearing-in of Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known by his nickname "Ahok," the presidential palace said.

Ahok has been serving as acting governor since Widodo stepped aside last month to become president.

Hundreds of religious hardliners have staged protests against Ahok, underlining the difficulties facing the president's battle against intolerance in a nation with the world's biggest Muslim population.

Ahok is also ethnic Chinese, a small minority that have been resented in the past for their wide control over trade and business.

Thousands of police have been deployed around the capital this week in case of violence.


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