Who is Joko Widodo ?

Who is Joko Widodo ?

Joko Widodo (Indonesian: [dʒɔkɔ widɔdɔ]; born 21 June 1961), also known as Jokowi, is an Indonesian politician and businessman who is the 7th and current president of Indonesia. Elected in July 2014 as the first president not to come from an elite political or military background, Joko Widodo was previously the Mayor of Surakarta from 2005 to 2012 and the Governor of Jakarta from 2012 to 2014. Before his political career, Joko Widodo was an industrialist and businessman.

Joko Widodo achieved national prominence in 2009 for his work as the Mayor of Surakarta. A member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), he was named as the party's candidate for the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election, alongside Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (often known as Ahok) as his running mate.

Defeating incumbent Fauzi Bowo, Joko Widodo took office in October 2012 and reinvigorated Jakartan politics, introducing publicised blusukan visits (unannounced spot checks) and improving the city's bureaucracy, reducing corruption in the process. Joko Widodo also introduced years-late programs to improve quality of life, including universal healthcare, dredging the city's main river to reduce flooding, and inaugurating the construction of the city's subway system.

The PDI-P nominated Jokowi, who was already seen as a rising star in Indonesian politics, for the 2014 presidential election. Winning a majority of the popular vote, Joko Widodo was named president-elect on 22 July 2014, to bitter protest from his opponent Prabowo Subianto, who disputed the outcome and withdrew from the race before the count was completed.

As president, Jokowi has primarily focused on infrastructure, introducing or restarting long-delayed programs to improve connectivity in the Indonesian archipelago.

On foreign policy, his administration has emphasised "protecting Indonesia’s sovereignty", with the sinking of illegal foreign fishing vessels and the prioritising and scheduling of capital punishment for drug smugglers. The latter was despite intense representations and diplomatic protests from foreign powers, including Australia and France.

Joko Widodo was re-elected in 2019 for a second five-year term, again defeating Prabowo Subianto.

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