Indonesia's big rematch

Hard truths facing Jokowi in his bid for re-election

Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto on a visit to Cianjur, in West Java. His campaign has so far zeroed in on bread-and-butter issues, a potential weak spot for Mr Joko. President Joko Widodo has not lost an election since he entered politics 15
President Joko Widodo has not lost an election since he entered politics 15 years ago. Recent electability surveys gave him a double-digit lead over Mr Prabowo Subianto.PHOTO: JOKO WIDODO/TWITTER
Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto on a visit to Cianjur, in West Java. His campaign has so far zeroed in on bread-and-butter issues, a potential weak spot for Mr Joko. President Joko Widodo has not lost an election since he entered politics 15
Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto on a visit to Cianjur, in West Java. His campaign has so far zeroed in on bread-and-butter issues, a potential weak spot for Mr Joko.PHOTO: PRABOWO-SANDI MEDIA CENTRE

His choice of running mate and the threat of no-shows could work against his favour

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo, best known by his moniker Jokowi, has never lost an election since he entered politics 15 years ago and quietly won the 2005 mayoral race in Solo, Central Java.

A hands-on approach focused on improving the lives of ordinary folk in his hometown saw him easily re-elected in 2010, and two years later leapfrogging more prominent politicians to become Jakarta governor.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 17, 2019, with the headline 'Hard truths facing Jokowi in his bid for re-election'. Print Edition | Subscribe