Jakarta’s first Christian governor in generations lost his reelection bid Wednesday, according to unofficial results, after a heated sectarian campaign that underscored the influence of hard-line Islamists in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Although the results were not final, early counts showed a decisive victory for Anies Baswedan, a Muslim candidate whose supporters portrayed the race as a referendum on the power of Islam in shaping the politics of Indonesia’s capital.

The outcome also raised questions about whether moderate Muslim political factions could face increasing pressure from hard-line groups energized by the Jakarta victory.

The incumbent governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, was known for tough anti-corruption drives and challenges to hard-line Muslim groups that have taken on an increasingly central role in Indonesian politics. Comments he made last year led to charges of blasphemy that hung over the campaign. His blasphemy trial resumed Thursday with prosecutors calling for two years’ probation, meaning he probably would not face jail time even if convicted. The maximum penalty for blasphemy is five years in prison.

 

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