Ma'ruf has served as the chairman of the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) and Advisory Leader of the Nahdlatul Ulama, the world's largest Muslim organization.
On a dramatic day of political manoeuvring and intrigue, Widodo made a surprise decision to pick Amin, just hours after former chief justice Mahfud MD appeared to confirm he was the vice presidential choice of Widodo.
The battle lines for Indonesia's 2019 presidential election were drawn Friday as the incumbent Joko "Jokowi" Widodo formally registered as a candidate after choosing a conservative Islamic cleric as his running mate.More news: State of emergency declared in Charlottesville for ‘Unite the Right’ anniversary
Amin is the influential head of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), who issued a statement condemning Widodo's political ally, the ethnic Chinese Christian former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, as a blasphemer for insulting the Koran in the middle of a heated Jakarta election campaign.
Ahok lost the Jakarta gubernatorial election to a Muslim candidate, Anies Baswedan, and was later sentenced to two years in prison for blasphemy.
"Maybe there are questions from the people all over Indonesia why Professor Dr. Ma'ruf Amin was chosen".
The president has been criticized by conservative Muslims for issuing a decree past year paving the way for the disbanding of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, the local branch of an global Islamic organization seeking the establishment of a caliphate through peaceful means.
According to the Jakarta Post, Ma'ruf now chairs the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), Indonesia's highest Muslim clerical body that oversees all registered Muslim organisations such as the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Muhammadiyah and the Islamic Union (Persis).More news: 'Blade Runner 2049' Actress Sean Young Wanted by NYPD for Alleged Burglary
The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) last month said that Jokowi's electability remains as high as 58.2 percent.
"He also oversaw the creation of so-called religious harmony forums across the country.
"Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno are the best sons of the nation like me and Mr. Ma'ruf Amin".
Meanwhile, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY)'s Democrat Party (PD) organized an "emergency meeting" on Thursday afternoon (09/08).
Prabowo has yet to announce his running mate.More news: Sea-Tac Airport Issues Statement After 'Suicidal Male' Crashes Plane
"We want to be in power on behalf of the people, we want there is no hunger and poor people in Indonesia", Prabowo said after the registration.