Indonesia: Ma’ruf ‘orchestrated’ Jokowi’s VP choice, says Mahfud

  • Former Constitutional Court chief justice Mahfud MD has said that vice presidential candidate Ma’ruf Amin was behind the statement from Islamic mass organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) that “threatened” to withdraw its support for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo if the incumbent picked Mahfud as his running mate.
  • Mahfud said that “NU executive Robikin delivered the statement and Kiai Ma’ruf Amin was the one who ordered it,” he said. “How do I know it was Kiai Ma’ruf Amin? Muhaimin told me,” referring to National Awakening Party (PKB) chairman Muhaimin Iskandar.
  • The day before Jokowi’s choice of Ma’ruf was announced, NU executive Robikin Emhas stated that the NU leadership wanted Jokowi to pick a NU member for running mate. Should he not, NU followers will feel “no moral responsibility to help Jokowi win” and added that the NU did not consider Mahfud to be a member.
  • Mahfud said that on 1 Aug 18, he was invited by State Secretary Pratikno to his house and that the choice of running mate had been narrowed down to him. Pratikno also said Mahfud should get ready. He added that he had heard from Jokowi himself that the change had been made at the last minute to appease the parties in Jokowi’s coalition. Mahfud implied that the PKB, the NU’s unofficial political arm, was one of the parties that had pressured Jokowi into making the switch.
  • Mahfud is closely affiliated with the NU, having been educated at a NU-run pesantren (Islamic boarding school) and for his long involvement in NU-related organizations such as GP Ansor, the NU’s youth wing, and the Wahid Institute. However, NU executives seemed to play down Mahfud’s involvement in the organization.
  • This comes as Ma’ruf Amin announced that he will step down as Rais Aam, or the supreme leader, of the NU. This was confirmed by NU chairman Said Aqil Siradj.
  • Said said Ma’ruf would officially tender his resignation after completing the haj to Saudi Arabia. Ma’ruf departed to Saudi Arabia on 15 Aug 18. Vice supreme leader, Miftahul Akhyar, would automatically assume the Rais Aam post. The NU central board (PBNU) does not allow the Rais Aam to hold any political positions, according to Said.
  • Besides being the supreme leader of the PBNU for 2015-2020, Ma’ruf has also been the chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) since 2007 and is a board member of the Pancasila body (BPIP).

External Link: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/08/15/maruf-orchestrated-jokowis-vp-choice-says-mahfud.html

External Link: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/08/15/maruf-amin-to-step-down-from-pbnu-chairman-says.html

15-Aug-2018


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