Jakarta. Incumbent Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat asked the Jakarta Elections Supervisory Agency, or Bawaslu, over the weekend to provide detailed information outlining the lawful criteria for running a political campaign.
Djarot and his running mate, Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, have been accused of conducting an "underground" campaign ahead of the second round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election, slated for April 19.
Djarot explained that regulated criteria for campaign activities are vital to prevent future accusations of unlawful conduct. The deputy governor has stated that his campaign has never conducted any activities that would run foul of regulations as stipulated by Bawaslu.
"It is complicated. For example, if I visit a market with my family to buy something, then people end up crowding around us, is that considered a campaign? I will not report that activity to Bawaslu. It troubles me if I have to register every personal activity [with the supervisory agency]," Djarot said on Sunday (19/03).
"[...] If my whole family wants to get a haircut, and we visit a salon, should I register that as well? And if we go to a cinema, should that be registered as well? That's a public place where people often go. I'm sure that Basuki didn't conduct [an unlawful] campaign," Djarot added, when asked about his running mate's campaign activities.
Ahok and Djarot are currently trying to curry favor among Jakarta voters to bolster their chances of winning next month's runoff election against Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno.
However, recent ethnic and religious tensions in the capital have served as an obstacle for Ahok and Djarot in their quest for a second term.
Ahok, a Christian of Chinese descent, is currently on trial for blasphemy over a reference he made to a Koranic verse in a speech in October last year.
He has repeatedly denied the charges.Meanwhile, Sandiaga was summoned by the Jakarta Police on Monday for questioning as a witness in an investigation related to the alleged misappropriation of funds in a land sale in 2012.
Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel and Facebook Live to find out more about the Jakarta gubernatorial run-off campaign.