Jakarta – Activists grouped under the National Movement to Safeguard Ulema Fatwas (GNPF) are set to return to the streets for a "reunion" marking the 2016 anti-Ahok rally in Jakarta next month.
"The reunion has been held every year. It has taken place in 2017 and 2018, thus it will be held again in 2019," GNPF chairman Yusuf M. Martak said in Jakarta on Tuesday as quoted by Antara news agency.
He confirmed that the rally had been set for Dec. 2 – the same date as a major rally in 2016 that has since been dubbed the 212 rally, in which Islamist groups held a large protest to demand the imprisonment of former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama for blasphemy.
Despite the naming of the date, no further information has been released regarding the details of the plan, he said.
Yusuf asserted that this year's reunion rally would be non-political as there was no political event within the near future.
"Hopefully, those who have attended [previous rallies] will spare some time, funds, others, and [come] not only because of the  presidential election," he added.
Speaking on the same occasion, Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) deputy chairman Zainut Tauhid Sa'adi called for peace amid the planned rally.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD said in response to the plan that a rally was permissible as long as it abided by the rules and regulations.
"Just go ahead. We have own security standards. This is a democratic country that guarantees [ a citizen's right] to express their opinions," he said at his office.
A group calling itself the 212 Rally Alumni was established to gather people involved in the 2016 rally to organize several events, including the latest one held last year to support the presidential campaign of former opposition leader Prabowo Subianto – now defense minister – and running mate Sandiaga Uno.
Prabowo and Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, who beat Ahok in the 2017 election, attended last year's rally alongside officials from political parties supporting Prabowo and Sandiaga at the time. (sau)