Jakarta governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama at his campaign headquarters in Jakarta on Friday (18/11). (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak A.)

Blasphemy Allegation Puts Dents in Ahok's Poll Numbers

BY : ALIN ALMANAR

NOVEMBER 18, 2016

Jakarta. Being named as a suspect in a blasphemy case has done further damage to Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's performance at the polls, with his already plummeting electability rating in the lead-up to next year's Jakarta election dropping even further, a recent survey shows.

Ahok's electability rating stood at a low 24.6 percent according to a poll conducted by the Indonesian Survey Circle between Oct. 31 and Nov. 5 which involed 440 respondents.

Basuki lost a whopping 60 percent of support when survey participants were asked if they would still favor him if he was named a suspect in the blasphemy case, sending his electability rating plummeting even lower to 10.6 percent.

The survey was conducted before Basuki was named as a suspect in the blasphemy case on Nov. 16.

"The public thinks Ahok's guilty once he was named a suspect, even though he has not been convicted," researcher Ardian Sopa said on Friday during the survey's release.

73.2 percent of the survey's correspondents considered Basuki guilty in the blasphemy case. 63.7 percent deemed a police investigation is necessary.

The survey came following a string of similar polls showing Basuki's declining electability. Surveys conducted in October, July, and March found his electability rating hovering between at 31.4 percent, 49.1 percent and 59.3 percent.

"His poll numbers can improve again if he could win the hearts of Muslim voters who have felt offended by his remark," Ardian said.

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