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Indonesian president Jokowi brushes off talk of political dynasty

Indonesian president Jokowi brushes off talk of political dynasty
Published October 13, 2023 Updated October 13, 2023 Bookmark Bookmark Share WhatsApp Telegram Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s outgoing president Joko Widodo on Friday (Oct 13) brushed off a question about growing criticism that he is building a political dynasty as the end of his term draws near, saying the choice of leader should be left to the people.

Mr Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, will complete his second and final term in October next year but the appointment of relatives to various political positions as a Feb 14 election draws closer has raised eyebrows in a country that broke free of authoritarian rule 25 years ago.

When asked about his thoughts on dynastic politics, Mr Jokowi told reporters: “Just leave it to the people”.

He did not elaborate.

His youngest son, Mr Kaesang Pangarep, was last month named leader of a youth party, Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), just days after joining.

His son-in-law is mayor of the city of Medan.

His eldest son, Mr Gibran Rakabuming Raka, who is mayor of the city of Solo, and has been touted as a vice presidential candidate for a strong contender to become the next president, former special forces commander Prabowo Subianto.

Indonesia has a record of dynastic politics.

During the 32-year rule of strongman President Suharto, his eldest daughter served as a cabinet minister.

The daughter of Indonesia’s first president Sukarno, Ms Megawati Sukarnoputri, served as president and leads the biggest party in parliament. Her daughter is the speaker of the house.

The race to lead the world’s third-largest democracy is dominated by three men: Mr Prabowo, who is ahead in opinion polls, former Central Java province Governor Ganjar Pranowo, and former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan.

The three and their running mates are expected to register as candidates from Oct 19 to Oct 25. REUTERS