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Joko Widodo: Heavy metal fan tipped for Indonesian presidency

Published on Apr 9, 2014 3:30 PM
 
Jakarta Governor and presidential candidate from the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P) party, Joko Widodo, shows his ballot paper during voting in the parliamentary elections in Jakarta on April 9, 2014. His hands-on approach and his image as a regular citizen has set Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo apart from the aloof elite that has dominated Indonesian politics, and made him the frontrunner to be the country's next president.   -- PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (AFP) - He's happiest when making an impromptu visit to the teeming slums of the Indonesian capital, upbraiding lazy officials during surprise inspections or headbanging at a heavy metal concert.

It is precisely this hands-on approach and his image as a regular citizen that has set Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo apart from an aloof, Suharto-era elite that long dominated Indonesian politics, and made him the frontrunner to be the country's next president.

"I think people are looking for someone who they feel they can associate with," said Mr Tobias Basuki, an analyst with the Jakarta-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies. "This is something new for Indonesians - to have a leader who is also a grounded figure."

His party, the main opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), was on course to win the biggest share of the vote in Wednesday's parliamentary polls, which will determine which parties can field candidates for July's presidential election.

 
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