Indonesian President Joko Widodo waving to the group whereas on his journey to Presidential Palace by carriage in the course of the ceremonial parade on October 20, 2014 in Jakarta, Indonesia when he was sworn in.
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A 12 months earlier than stepping down as Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo is going through critical allegations of building a political dynasty by way of nepotism.
The 61-year-old, identified at residence 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 constantly excessive approval scores all through his close to decade-long tenure, is making an attempt 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 normal election race beneath the right-wing Gerindra Social gathering.
That got here simply days earlier than the nation modified the eligibility standards for presidential or vice-presidential candidates, permitting people beneath 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 put up as chief justice after discovering him responsible of ethics violations.
In line with a ballot in mid-October by Kompas Analysis and Improvement, 60.7% of respondents contemplate the participation of Jokowi’s eldest son Gibran within the election as a type of dynastic politics.
“Most respondents see this sort of politics as tending to prioritize household pursuits over the pursuits of society,” Kompas mentioned in a report. “It’s no marvel then that greater than half of respondents on this ballot acknowledged their disagreement with the follow of dynastic politics.”
2. Youngest son, Kaesang Pangarep
Individually, Jokowi’s youngest son, Kaesang Pangarep, was appointed chairman of the Indonesia Solidarity Social gathering (PSI) in September, a number of days after he formally grew to become a celebration member.
PSI, which launched in 2018, focuses on younger voters by way of points like ladies’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,” mentioned Julia Lau, senior fellow and co-coordinator of the Indonesia Research Programme at Singapore’s ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute.
Again residence, Jokowi’s loyalists are reportedly outraged, Reuters reported, saying that cupboard ministers inside his inside circle have accused him of in search of 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 put up as governor of the Nationwide Resilience Company after the constitutional court docket ruling. Andi, who referred to as the timing of his resignation deliberate, mentioned: “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,” mentioned 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 kind 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 best, together with his spouse Iriana Widodo and sons Gibran Rakbuming Raka, far left, and Kaesang Pangarep, far proper, collaborating within the conventional wedding 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 develop 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 popularity. The previous furnishings salesman captured nationwide hearts when he grew to become the nation’s first chief who did not come from a political or navy background, elevating hopes of a pushback towards elitist-led techniques.
However as his sons climb up the political ladder, critics at the moment are drawing comparisons with current political dynasties round Southeast Asia.
“Many liberals and intellectuals in Indonesia at the moment are 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,” mentioned Lau from ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute.
Following failed makes an attempt by his workforce to increase Jokowi’s tenure, she mentioned, “this newest sequence of strikes appears to be their manner of making an attempt to claw a everlasting maintain for themselves however might nicely backfire.”
“What is bound is that Widodo is enjoying a dangerous sport within the final part of his presidency,” Lau added.
The ‘Jokowi impact’
Analysts at the moment are 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,” international analysis agency Asia Home mentioned in a report.
“The nomination of Gibran as his vice-presidential candidate is prone to win Prabowo votes from Central Java — the place Jokowi’s household is initially from — and shift the assist of Jokowi’s supporters from Ganjar and PDIP to the Prabowo camp.”
The PDIP, or Indonesian Democratic Social gathering of Battle, is the nation’s ruling social gathering.
The PSI can also be in search of to capitalize on the recognition of Jokowi, who has unusually excessive approval scores for a two-term president.
“The concept 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 mentioned, 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 beneath 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 mentioned.