By Tom Allard and Gayatri Suroyo | JAKARTA
Jakarta voters head to the polls on Wednesday to elect a governor for Indonesia’s teeming capital after a campaign that incited political and religious tensions in the world’s most-populous Muslim country.
Surveys have shown the race tightening to a statistical dead heat, with incumbent Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese Christian, closing in on rival Anies Baswedan, a former education minister.
Purnama is standing trial on blasphemy charges stemming from the divisive campaign that also featured mass rallies led by Islamist hardliners and alleged plots to overthrow President Joko Widodo, who is popularly known as Jokowi.
The Jakarta election is viewed as a larger choice ahead of a 2019 presidential poll between the secular policies Indonesia has practiced since its post-World War Two independence and a hardline political Islam that has strengthened in recent years.