My guess would be that MUI is considered too "moderate" by people in Aceh. I really wish Allan Nairn’s reporting could be independently verified. It would put his promise to have his personal jet bring Habib Rizieq back from KSI in an entirely different light.When I was in Banda Aceh last week I was told that Ma'ruf Amin was barely known in the province. Not surprising. This may explain some of the result? I would be curious to know what was behind it, given that even some Acehnese I met thought with the split in PA might cause it to go the other way.
(By the way, did I see you and family strolling around the lapangan Blangpadang on car-free day last Sunday?)
In other news, many thousands walked today for Banda Aceh's 814th birthday party, a walk of nearly 3 miles - a good distance for many locals in the muggy clime.