Indonesian President Joko Widodo waving to the gang whereas on his journey to Presidential Palace by carriage through the ceremonial parade on October 20, 2014 in Jakarta, Indonesia when he was sworn in.
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A yr earlier than stepping down as Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo is going through critical allegations of creating a political dynasty by way of nepotism.
The 61-year-old, identified at dwelling as Jokowi, is because of go away workplace in October 2024 after finishing the utmost two phrases as president.
However critics and analysts say the chief, who has loved persistently excessive approval scores all through his close to decade-long tenure, is trying to retain energy by way of members of his shut household.
1. Eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka
Final month, his eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, 36, was formally named the vice presidential working mate of Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto for the Feb. 14 common election race below the right-wing Gerindra Get together.
That got here simply days earlier than the nation modified the eligibility standards for presidential or vice-presidential candidates, permitting people below the age of 40 to register for both function in the event that they beforehand held regional posts. Gibran is the mayor of Solo.
The constitutional court docket, which was helmed by the president’s brother-in-law Anwar Usman at the moment, was extensively criticized for altering the regulation, which enabled Jokowi’s son to contest the election. The court docket’s ethics council has since ordered Anwar to be faraway from his publish as chief justice after discovering him responsible of ethics violations.
In line with a ballot in mid-October by Kompas Analysis and Growth, 60.7% of respondents take into account the participation of Jokowi’s eldest son Gibran within the election as a type of dynastic politics.
“Most respondents see this type of politics as tending to prioritize household pursuits over the pursuits of society,” Kompas stated in a report. “It’s no surprise then that greater than half of respondents on this ballot said their disagreement with the apply of dynastic politics.”
2. Youngest son, Kaesang Pangarep
Individually, Jokowi’s youngest son, Kaesang Pangarep, was appointed chairman of the Indonesia Solidarity Get together (PSI) in September, a number of days after he formally turned a celebration member.
PSI, which launched in 2018, focuses on younger voters by way of points like girls’s rights, pluralism and corruption. It hopes to safe seats within the Home of Representatives for the primary time in the upcoming election.
3. Son-in-law, Bobby Nasution
Including to Jokowi’s political chessboard is additionally his son-in-law Bobby Nasution, the present mayor of Medan.
Jokowi is “making an attempt to retain political affect by way of his sons and son-in-law, Medan mayor Bobby Nasution,” stated Julia Lau, senior fellow and co-coordinator of the Indonesia Research Programme at Singapore’s ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute.
Again dwelling, Jokowi’s loyalists are reportedly outraged, Reuters reported, saying that cupboard ministers inside his interior circle have accused him of searching for to hold on to energy by way of judicial interference and nepotism.
In line with Reuters, Andi Widjajanto, as soon as Jokowi’s right-hand man, resigned from his publish as governor of the Nationwide Resilience Company after the constitutional court docket ruling. Andi, who known as the timing of his resignation deliberate, stated: “As somebody that labored with Jokowi for a very long time I’m very, very upset in him.”
A political dynasty?
These are “nepotistic methods,” stated Vedi Hadiz, director and professor on the Asia Institute on the College of Melbourne.
Jokowi’s sons are “a part of the broader plan” to type a political dynasty earlier than he leaves workplace, he continued.
“Kaesang Pangarep’s ascent into the management of the PSI is geared to assist obtain the purpose of gaining victory for the Prabowo-Gibran pairing, because the PSI has moved, additionally controversially, into the Prabowo orbit these days.”
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, second from the precise, along with his spouse Iriana Widodo and sons Gibran Rakbuming Raka, far left, and Kaesang Pangarep, far proper, collaborating within the conventional marriage ceremony ceremony in preparation for the marriage of Jokowi’s daughter in Solo, Central Java on Nov. 7, 2017.
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Lau echoed the identical sentiments.
“Kaesang, 28, is a political neophyte and working on his father’s coattails,” she added, noting how the PSI has now change into “a automobile to channel the Widodo clan’s aspirations.”
CNBC reached out to Indonesia’s presidential palace for remark however didn’t hear again.
These developments do not bode nicely for the nation’s already fragile state of democracy, which solely emerged 25 years in the past after many years of authoritarian rule.
It additionally weighs closely on Jokowi’s repute. The previous furnishings salesman captured nationwide hearts when he turned the nation’s first chief who did not come from a political or navy background, elevating hopes of a pushback in opposition to elitist-led methods.
However as his sons climb up the political ladder, critics are actually drawing comparisons with current political dynasties round Southeast Asia.
“Many liberals and intellectuals in Indonesia are actually calling for a deeper look into the corruption and weakening of a number of democratic establishments within the nation, their constitutional court docket, the anti-corruption fee, etcetera, that has occurred on Widodo’s watch,” stated Lau from ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute.
Following failed makes an attempt by his crew to increase Jokowi’s tenure, she stated, “this newest collection of strikes appears to be their manner of making an attempt to claw a everlasting maintain for themselves however could nicely backfire.”
“What is certain is that Widodo is enjoying a dangerous sport within the final part of his presidency,” Lau added.
The ‘Jokowi impact’
Analysts are actually anticipating what they name “a Jokowi impact” for the PSI and Gerindra events.
Selecting Gibran, Jokowi’s eldest son, “is a transparent sign by Prabowo’s camp to affiliate its presidential bid with the successes of Jokowi-era programmes and insurance policies,” world analysis agency Asia Home stated in a report.
“The nomination of Gibran as his vice-presidential candidate is more likely to win Prabowo votes from Central Java — the place Jokowi’s household is initially from — and shift the help of Jokowi’s supporters from Ganjar and PDIP to the Prabowo camp.”
The PDIP, or Indonesian Democratic Get together of Battle, is the nation’s ruling social gathering.
The PSI can be searching for to capitalize on the recognition of Jokowi, who has unusually excessive approval scores for a two-term president.
“The thought is that the recognition would rub off on Kaesang Pangarep and enhance the electoral efficiency of the PSI,” defined Hadiz from the College of Melbourne.
“If that’s achieved convincingly, the Jokowi household can successfully take full management of a political social gathering. It by no means had such management earlier than given the Soekarno household’s grip on the PDIP,” she stated, referring to referring to Indonesia’s first president.
In the meantime, the PDIP is more and more distancing itself from Jokowi. His relationship with PDIP chair Megawati Sukarnoputri is now below strain following his sons’ pivot to different events.
“Whereas some interpret Gibran’s candidacy as proof of Jokowi’s involvement in dynastic politics, it is also perceived as a snub to PDIP, the social gathering that each supported Jokowi’s presidential bids and backed Gibran when he ran for mayor,” Asia Home stated.