Jokowi Confirmed as Next President of Indonesia

I wrote this piece on 21 July 2014 for The Kashmir Walla’s Magazine’s coverage of Indonesia’s Election

Jokowi, pictured when he was the mayor of Solo (yes, wearing a Napalm shirt. He's a metal fan)
Pak Jokowi, pictured when he was the mayor of Solo (yes, wearing a Napalm shirt. He’s a metal fan)

Joko Widodo has been declared the winner of Indonesia’s presidential election and will take office in October.

Indonesia’s Election Commission (the KPU) has declared that Mr Widodo won the poll with almost 71 million votes, which is over 53 per cent of the count.

Prabowo Subianto, former military general and leader of Partai Gerakan Indonesia Raya (The Greater Indonesia Party) received 62.5 million votes or 46.8 per cent.

Yesterday afternoon, Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Hatta rejected the 2014 presidential election, which they claimed was “legally flawed”.

Some supporters claimed this meant Prabowo was no longer an actual candidate. But the KPU declaration indicates his status remained unchanged.

Despite Prabowo’s allegations, independent analysts have said that the poll has been by and large, free and fair.

A self-made man from humble beginnings, Jokowi represents change for Indonesia.

The much-respected former mayor of Solo and Jakarta won the election through positive campaigning, and by promoting active civic participation in the campaigning process, showing that political volunteerism in Indonesia has emerged as a powerful political force in the 2014 Presidential Election.

For a country who has always had leaders with close ties to the country’s elite, Jokowi represents a new style of leadership for Indonesia.

As one young Indonesian activist and author Fahd Djibran told me yesterday, for Indonesia, “Jokowi is a symbol of hope, and a leader who can embody the figure of [our] hopes into reality”.