Jakarta. Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama and his running mate in the Jakarta gubernatorial election, Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat, have spoken out against a plan for an "Al Maidah Picnic" on April 19, election day — a gathering of masses organized by a group calling itself Gerakan Kemenangan Jakarta, or Jakarta Victory Campaign.
A poster for the picnic has been widely shared on social media and messaging apps.
The organizer of the picnic urges non-Jakarta residents to visit polling stations on April 19 to supervise the voting process.
Djarot said these "observers" may end up intimidating voters waiting to cast their ballots.
"It could happen. Voters can get intimidated seeing so many unknown people at polling stations," Djarot said on Thursday (23/03).
The deputy governor has asked the Jakarta Election Commission (KPUD) and the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) to ban the Al Maidah picnic.
"It's up to the Bawaslu, they can ask ulemas, clerics and preachers if it is wise for this group to organize a picnic named after a chapter from the Koran," Djarot said, clearly referring to the fact that his boss Ahok is currently facing blasphemy charges for calling out people who quote from the same chapter to discriminate against him.
The governor himself said the KPUD and the Bawaslu should do their best to make sure Jakarta residents can cast their vote on election day in a "peaceful and safe" atmosphere.
"We don't want to be suspicious of visitors from outside Jakarta. But we have to make sure that nothing and no one disrupts the election on April 19," Ahok said.