The entry of a number of religious figures in the National Campaign Team for vice presidential candidate pair Joko Widodo-KH Ma'ruf Amin (Jokowi-Ma'ruf), is considered a form of political strategy. This method is used to cover Jokowi's weaknesses perceived to be unfriendly with Muslims.
"Ulama became vice president, also religious leaders were included in the timess, I think that is part of a political strategy to fill or cover up Jokowi's weak points," said Political Observer from the University of Indonesia Hurriyah, when contacted by Republika.co.id on Sunday (2 / 9).
Hurriyah said, Jokowi had an image that was not friendly with Muslims. The reason is because a lot of negative news or information that impresses Jokowi is not close to the ulamas or Muslim groups. That is the reason, he continued, this past year Jokowi tried to approach Muslims like visiting pesantren which was done some time ago.
In addition, Hurriyah said, political parties have an interest to gain as much votes as possible for the presidential-vice presidential pair he is carrying. One of them, he said, was by attracting figures who had the potential as sound miners and had a base of supporting masses including religious leaders.
"So whoever is considered to have potential, has a large mass and can influence the masses," he said.
Hurriyah considered that the campaign team considered religious figures or scholars as important figures in gaining votes. In particular, the Muslim group is one of the largest voting voices in Indonesia.
"In the end (religious leaders) are considered to be an important figure to gain public support, especially Muslim voters because these Muslim voters are indeed very large in Indonesia," said Hurriyah.
According to Hurriyah, political culture in Indonesia is still based on the influence of elites including religious leaders. So even though not one hundred percent, he continued, his supporters will also choose according to the choice of the religious figure.
"When a cleric or religious figure then goes into any timses, people will see 'oh my cleric, my cleric supports this.' So automatically the supporters will support even if not one hundred percent, "said Hurriyah.
A number of religious leaders were reported as being included in the Jokowi-Ma'ruf campaign team. One of them, the name of the most recent religious leader is Ustaz Yusuf Mansur. The entry of the speaker into the National Campaign Team (TKN) was confirmed directly by the vice president Ma'ruf Amin.
However, on another occasion, Yusuf Mansur admitted that he wanted a position that was not in favor of one of the camps. When alluded to the availability of being offered to join a candidate pair, Yusuf Mansur was reluctant to explain clearly.
"If you say that it will not be permissible. The impression is like being upset. What is the problem," he said, laughing to reporters after Friday prayers at At-Taqwa Mosque, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta, Friday (31/8).