20 October 2014
The inauguration of President Joko Widodo today, 20 Oct 2014, has raised hopes of a new beginning for Indonesia. Can he assuage doubts about his political longevity?
The rise of President Joko Widodo ushers in yet another chapter – a significant one – in Indonesia’s long and seemingly unending transition to civilian democratic rule. The new President’s assumption to office today has been accompanied with much anticipation, promising hope and refreshing change – a clear break from his predecessors.
President Jokowi, as he is fondly known, is not from the military, unlike Suharto or Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Though Muslim, he is neither from the Islamic voting bloc – a powerful constituency which only the military can balance. He is also not from the elite strata like previous presidents Sukarno, Habibie and Megawati, or the religious class like Abdurahman Wahid. The 53-year-old Jokowi literally emerged from the slums where he grew up; he was a furniture entrepreneur who virtually came out from the woodwork to become mayor of Solo in 2005, governor of Jakarta in 2012 and now president of the world’s fourth largest country in three gigantic leaps in just nine years. This is as spectacular as it is unprecedented.
Rapid rise, rapid opposition?
…Yang Razali Kassim is Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 21/10/2014