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Politics

Jokowi drums up support for Nusantara from Muslim group, sultans

Former opposition politician arrested in row over Indonesia's new capital

Indonesian President Joko Widodo arrives at the Nahdlatul Ulama ceremony in Balikpapan. (Photo courtesy of Indonesian Presidential Office)

BALIKPAPAN, Indonesia -- President Joko Widodo is drumming up support for Nusantara, Indonesia's planned new capital city, from the country's largest Muslim group, Nahdlatul Ulama, as well as local sultanates and Indigenous communities -- amid loud criticism in Jakarta.

The president earlier this week flew to the city of Balikpapan in East Kalimantan Province, in the Indonesian part of Borneo island, where NU was holding a ceremony to inaugurate members of its new national executive board. The Muslim group declared a plan to build a main office near the proposed site of new capital Nusantara in Penajam Paser Utara regency, just next to Balikpapan.

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