|7th President of Indonesia|
|Assumed office |
20 October 2014
|Vice President||Jusuf Kalla|
|Preceded by||Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono|
|14th Governor of Jakarta|
15 October 2012 – 16 October 2014
|Deputy||Basuki Tjahaja Purnama|
|Preceded by||Fauzi Bowo|
|Succeeded by||Basuki Tjahaja Purnama|
|15th Mayor of Surakarta|
28 July 2005 – 1 October 2012
|Deputy||F. X. Hadi Rudyatmo|
|Preceded by||Slamet Suryanto|
|Succeeded by||F. X. Hadi Rudyatmo|
21 June 1961
Iriana (m. 1986)
|Children||Gibran Rakabuming Raka|
|Alma mater||Gadjah Mada University|
Joko Widodo (born Mulyono, 21 June 1961), also known as Jokowi, is an Indonesian politician who is the seventh president of Indonesia. Elected in July 2014 as the first Indonesian president to not come from an elite political or military background, he was previously the Mayor of Surakarta from 2005 to 2012, and the Governor of Jakarta from 2012 to 2014.
He 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 its candidate for the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election, alongside Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (often known as Ahok) as his running mate. Defeating incumbent Fauzi Bowo, he took office in October 2012 and reinvigorated Jakarta politics, with publicized blusukan visits (unannounced spot checks) and improving the city's bureaucracy, reducing corruption in the process. He also introduced years-late programs to improve quality of life in the city, including universal health-care, dredging the city's main river to reduce flooding, and inaugurating construction of the city's subway system.
Seen as a rising star in Indonesian politics, PDI-P nominated Jokowi for the 2014 presidential election. Winning a majority of the popular vote, he 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 build highways, high-speed rail, airports and other facilities to improve connectivity in the Indonesian archipelago. On foreign policy, his administration has placed an emphasis on "protecting Indonesia’s sovereignty", with the sinking of illegal foreign fishing vessels and the prescription of capital punishment for drug smugglers, despite intense pressure from foreign powers including Australia and France. After four years in office, Jokowi's approval ratings remained high, in the high-60s to low-70s. He ran for re-election in the April 2019 presidential election, winning for a second time against Prabowo Subianto with 55.5% of the national vote.
Joko Widodo was born Mulyono on 21 June 1961, and is of Javanese descent. He is the eldest of four siblings and is the only son of Noto Mihardjo (father) and Sudjiatmi Notomihardjo (mother). He has three younger sisters, named Iit Sriyantini, Ida Yati and Titik Relawati. His father came from Karanganyar, while his grandparents came from a village in Boyolali. As a toddler, Jokowi was sickly, and his name was changed to Joko Widodo - Widodo meant "healthy" in Javanese. At the age of 12, he started working in his father's furniture workshop. The evictions he experienced three times in his childhood affected his way of thinking - and his leadership later on as the mayor of Surakarta (Solo) - as he organised housing in the city.
His education began in State Elementary School 111 Tirtoyoso, known for being a school for less wealthy citizens. He continued his studies in State Junior High School 1 Surakarta. He had wanted to continue his education in State Senior High School 1 Surakarta but failed the entrance exam and went to State Senior High School 6 Surakarta instead. Jokowi graduated from the Forestry faculty at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, in 1985 where his work included studies and research on the use of plywood. He later began work at PT Kertas Kraft Aceh, a state-owned firm in the province of Aceh. He worked in what is today Bener Meriah Regency between 1986 and 1988, as a supervisor of forestry and raw materials of a Pinus merkusii plantation.
Jokowi, however, soon became uninterested in his activities in the firm and returned home. He then began working in his grandfather's furniture factory for a year before establishing his own company, Rakabu, whose namesake is his first child. The company, which mainly focused on teak furniture, nearly went bankrupt at one point, but survived following a Rp 500 million loan from Perusahaan Gas Negara. By 1991, the company began exporting its products and they were successful in international markets. They were sold, for example, in France where they first established a presence in the European market. It was a French customer named Bernard who gave Joko Widodo the nickname he is famous for, 'Jokowi'.
By 2002, Jokowi had become the chairman of Surakarta's furniture manufacturers association. Ultimately he decided to become a politician and promote reform in his home town, Surakarta, after seeing the neat layouts of some European cities while promoting his furniture there. After becoming mayor, he also made a joint venture with politician and former lieutenant general Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, when the two founded PT Rakabu Sejahtera (from Rakabu and Luhut's PT Toba Sejahtera).
Jokowi reported his net worth in 2018 to be Rp 50.25 billion (US$3.5 million) - mostly in form of property holdings in Central Java and Jakarta.
After first joining PDI-P in 2004, Jokowi ran in the mayoral race in Surakarta in 2005 with F. X. Hadi Rudyatmo as his running mate, with the support of PDI-P and the National Awakening Party. The pair won 36.62% of the vote against the incumbent Slamet Suryanto and two other candidates. During the campaign, his background as a property and furniture businessman was questioned. However, one academic paper claimed his leadership style was successful because it established an interactive relationship with the people, through which he was able to induce people's strong faith in him. He adopted the development framework of European cities (which he frequently traveled to as a businessman) as a guide for changes in Surakarta.
Jokowi's notable policies as mayor included: Building new traditional markets & renovating existing markets, constructing a 7-km city walk with a 3-meter wide pedestrian walkway along Surakarta's main street, revitalizing the Balekambang and Sriwedari parks, employing stricter regulations on cutting down trees along the city's main streets, rebranding the city as a center of Javanese culture and tourism under the tagline 'The Spirit of Java', promoting the city as a center for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE), launching healthcare and education insurance program for all residents, a local bus rapid transit system named Batik Solo Trans and a Solo Techno Park, which helped support the Esemka Indonesian car project. It was during his tenure as mayor that he conducted the blusukan, the manner in which Jokowi made impromptu visits to certain areas to listen to people's issues, which proved popular later in his political career. He also prohibited his family members from bidding for city projects, therefore suppressing risk of corruption.
His supporters pointed to rapid positive changes in Surakarta under his leadership and the branding the city with the motto 'Solo: The Spirit of Java'. While in office he successfully relocated antique stalls in the Banjarsari Gardens without incident, a helpful move in revitalizing the functions of the open green land; he emphasized the importance of business firms engaging in community activities; he improved communications with the local community by appearing regularly on local television. As a follow-up of the new branding of the city, he applied for Surakarta to become a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities, which was approved in 2006, and subsequently had the city chosen to host the organization's conference in October 2008. In 2007, Surakarta had also hosted the World Music Festival (Festival Musik Dunia/FMD) which was held at the complex of Fort Vastenburg near the centre of the city. The FMD in 2008 was held in the Mangkunegaran Palace Complex.
Part of Jokowi's personal style was his populist 'can-do' (punya gaye) elements designed to build bonds with the broad electorate. As mayor, he became personally involved in an incident just before Christmas 2011 when the Surakarta municipality had overdue bills of close to $1 million (Rp 8.9 billion) owed to the state-owned electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN). Following its policy of pursuing a more disciplined approach to collecting overdue bills, it imposed a blackout on street lights in the city just before Christmas. The city government quickly authorized payment but in settling the bill protested that the PLN should consider the public interest before taking such action. To reinforce the point, Jokowi made a highly publicized personal visit to the local PLN office to deliver the Rp 8.9 billion in cash in the form of hundreds of bundles of notes and even small coins.
In 2010, he was reelected for a second term, again running with Hadi. They won 90.09% of the vote, losing in only a single polling station. He was later chosen as the 'Tempo Leader of Choice' by Tempo news magazine (2008) and received a 'Changemakers Award' from Republika newspaper (2010); his name also started being considered in national polls for governorship of Jakarta, long before PDI-P's nomination, including those by University of Indonesia and Cyrus Network (2011).
Jokowi win the 2012 gubernatorial election in Jakarta after a runoff round against incumbent Fauzi Bowo. His inner circle of advisers in Jakarta was reported to include people such as FX Hadi 'Rudy' Rudyatmo, Sumartono Hadinoto, and Anggit Nugroho who were colleagues while he was mayor of Surakarta as well as Ahok, his deputy as governor of Jakarta. Jokowi continued the blusukan practice he had adopted as mayor of Surakarta by regularly visiting population centres, especially slums. During these visits, he wore simple informal clothes and stopped at markets or walked along narrow Jakarta alleys to listen and witness firsthand about issues addressed by local residents such as the price of food, housing difficulties, flooding, and transportation. Polling and media coverage suggested that Jokowi's hands-on style proved very popular both in Jakarta and elsewhere across Indonesia.
After taking office, taxes and the provincial budget of Jakarta increased significantly from Rp 41 trillion in 2012 to Rp 72 trillion in 2014. Both Jokowi and Ahok publicized their monthly salary and the provincial budget. They also initiated programs aimed towards transparency, such as online taxes, e-budgeting, e-purchasing, and a cash management system. Moreover, all meetings and activities that were attended by Jokowi and Ahok were recorded and uploaded on YouTube.
In healthcare, Jokowi introduced a universal health care program, the 'Healthy Jakarta Card' (Kartu Jakarta Sehat, KJS). It involved an insurance program provided through state-owned insurance company PT Askes Indonesia (Persero) and a plan to regulate health charges for treatment for over 20,000 services and procedures. The program was criticised for confusion over details of the implementation and long queues, though Jokowi defended it and counseled patience. In education, Jokowi launched the 'Smart Jakarta Card' (Kartu Jakarta Pintar, KJP) on 1 December 2012, to help poor students. It gives an allowance that can be withdrawn from ATMs for buying school needs such as books and uniforms.
His administration's other notable policies include a system of bureaucratic recruitment called lelang jabatan (literally 'auction of office position'), giving every civil servant the same opportunity to achieve a certain position by fulfilling the required qualifications, a regulation of the chaotic agglomeration of street vendors in Pasar Minggu and Pasar Tanah Abang, the dredging and reservoir normalization projects to reduce flooding, and the inauguration of long-delayed Jakarta MRT and Jakarta LRT.
After hearing the Quick Count results of many different polls, Jokowi declared victory on 9 July. However, his opponent Prabowo Subianto also declared victory, leaving Indonesian citizens confused. On 22 July, hours before the announcement of the election results, Prabowo withdrew. Jokowi's victory was expected and realized hours later. The Commission gave him a close victory of 53.15% of the vote (representing 70,997,859 voters), to Prabowo's 46.85% (62,576,444 votes), though Prabowo's camp disputed these totals.
After his victory, Jokowi stated that, growing up under the authoritarian and corrupt New Order regime, he would have never expected someone with a lower-class background to become president. The New York Times reported him as saying "now, it's quite similar to America, yeah? There is the American dream, and here we have the Indonesian dream". Jokowi was the first Indonesian president to not come from the military or the political elite, and the political commentator Salim Said gave the popular view of the politician as "someone who is our neighbor, who decided to get into politics and run for president".
In 2018, Jokowi announced that he would run for re-election in the 2019 presidential election. His vice president Jusuf Kalla was not seen as eligible for another term because of the term limits set for the positions of president and vice-president. (Jusuf Kalla had already served a five-year term as vice-president during Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's (SBY) presidency from 2004 to 2009.) Speculation as to who Jokowi might select as his running mate focused on several candidates including Mahfud MD, a former defence minister and chief justice of the Constitutional Court.
On 9 August 2018, in a surprise move, Jokowi announced that Ma'ruf Amin would be his running mate. Mahfud had been reported to be preparing himself to become vice presidential candidate, however, following a push by several constituent parties of Jokowi's governing coalition and influential Islamic figures, Ma'ruf was selected instead. Explaining his decision, Jokowi referred to Ma'ruf's extensive experience in government and religious affairs.
In January 2019, it was reported that Jokowi was considering the release of Islamist Abu Bakar Ba'asyir due to old age and declining health. The move was seen as controversial as part of a growing number of actions taken by Jokowi to appease conservative Muslims ahead of the election. The plan was cancelled on 23 January, as Ba'asyir refused to pledge allegiance to the state ideology of Pancasila which was one of the terms of his release.
Widodo has refused to take a position on the incarceration by the Chinese government of an estimated 1,000,000 Muslim Uighurs in re-education camps in the province of Xinjiang stating "I don’t know about Xinjiang" and would be unable to comment.
The first year of Jokowi's administration saw him controlling a minority government, until Golkar, the second largest party in the People's Representative Council, switched from opposition to government. Jokowi denied accusations of having interfered with Golkar's internal affairs, although admitted that Luhut may have influenced the change. His cabinet's Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto was elected chairman of Golkar in 2018. The National Mandate Party (PAN) had also switched sides beforehand, but later returned to being the opposition in 2018.
Jokowi announced the 34 names in his cabinet on 26 October 2014. While the cabinet was praised for inclusiveness of women, with Retno Marsudi becoming Indonesia's first female foreign minister, it received criticism for several perceived political inclusions such as Puan Maharani (daughter of Megawati Sukarnoputri). The Jokowi administration also saw the formation of two new ministries (Ministry of Public Works and Housing and Ministry of Environment and Forestry) from merger of old ministries, in addition to renaming and reorganization of other ministries. In total, he conducted three cabinet reshuffles until 2018, removing ministers such as Rizal Ramli and Bambang Brodjonegoro while including ministers such as Luhut and World Bank Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati.
He came under fire from his own political party for other policy weakness and one lawmaker from his own party, Effendi Simbolon, said he should be impeached. On 9 April 2015 during PDI-P congress, his party's chair, former President Megawati Sukarnoputri, alluded to him as a functionary. Megawati noted the mechanism of presidential election is that a presidential candidate should be nominated by a political party, as a hint that Jokowi presidential position was owed to his PDI-P nomination; thus implying that it is natural for the president to carry out the Party's political policy line. Several months prior, Megawati and Jokowi had disputed over the appointment of a new police chief, with Megawati supporting her former adjutant Budi Gunawan while Jokowi supported Badrodin Haiti.
Prior to taking office, Jokowi sought for outgoing President SBY to take responsibility for the decision to further increase fuel prices by further removing subsidies. Previous attempts by his predecessor to do so had resulted in civil unrest. On 1 January 2015, Jokowi took measures which on the surface appeared to reduce fuel subsidies. The policy stirred up some demonstrations, with Jokowi citing it as necessary to increase funding for the infrastructure, education and health sectors. However, since March 2015, the government has set the price of Premium-branded gasoline far below the market price causing the fuel subsidy to be incurred by state-owned oil company Pertamina instead of the direct government account. In addition, the government also implemented a single-price program, aiming to sell fuel through official channels at the same price nationally including in isolated parts of Kalimantan and Papua. The government claimed that this was achieved in 2017.
In the first quarter of 2015, year-on-year GDP grew 4.92%, and in the second quarter, it grew 4.6%, the lowest figure since 2009. Since then, growth has remained above the 5% mark, which is still below what is considered healthy economic growth mark of 6%. The Indonesian rupiah has also weakened throughout Jokowi's administration, with its exchange rate per US dollar briefly passing Rp. 15,000 in 2018, the lowest level since the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The year-on-year inflation in June 2015 was 7.26%, higher than in May (7.15%) and June the year before (6.7%).
Jokowi's administration continued the resource nationalism policy of its predecessor, nationalizing some assets controlled by multinational companies such as Freeport McMoRan, Total SA and Chevron. In 2018, in a move aimed to cut imports, oil companies operating in Indonesia were ordered to sell their crude oil to state-owned Pertamina.
Infrastructure development has been a major feature of the Jokowi administration, with a focus on road and railway expansion, seaports and airports development, and irrigation. In 2016, the state budget allocated Rp 290 trillion (US$22 billion) for infrastructure, the biggest in Indonesian history. In total, his administration planned 265 infrastructure projects starting in 2016. In September 2015, Indonesia awarded a $5.5 billion high-speed rail project to China, to Japan's disappointment, who is also vying for the project. Indonesia’s transportation ministry laid out a litany of shortcomings in plans for the project, casting doubt on the project and spotlighting Jokowi’s limits in turning mega-projects into reality as he tries to draw foreign investors. Other major projects include the completion of the 4,325-kilometer Trans Papua road and the Trans-Java Toll Road, initial construction of the Trans-Sulawesi Railway and the Trans-Sumatra Toll Road, a US$50 billion plan to develop the maritime sector including 24 "strategic ports", and expansion of airport capacity in remote areas. The ports' development and modernization program, dubbed the "Sea Toll Road" program, was aimed to reduce price inequality between the better developed western parts of the country and the less populated eastern parts.
In addition to the major projects, the Jokowi administration also implemented a village fund program in which villages across the country received funding to allocate on basic infrastructure such as roads and water supply, tourism development and village enterprises to improve rural economies. Between 2015 and 2018, Rp 187 trillion (US$14 billion) had been reallocated through the program. The administration has targeted to streamline land certification across the country, aiming to completely distribute certificates of land ownership across the country. This involved increasing the issuing rate of certificates from around 500,000 to several million annually. In 2016, the administration signed into law a tax amnesty bill following a lengthy public debate and push back, giving wealthy Indonesians a chance to declare their unreported assets before the government would strengthen rules and oversight around imports and exports. It became the most successful program of its kind in history, with over Rp. 4,865 trillion (approximately US$366 billion) of previously unreported assets declared to the tax office.
The aggressive spending on infrastructure and the resulting increase in Indonesia's national debt - an increase by 48% between 2014 and March 2018 to US$181 billion - was criticized by the opposition.
Judicial executions in Indonesia are carried out pursuant to a Presidential Decree following a death sentence imposed by a trial court. Jokowi has stated that he refused to grant any clemency for drug offenders facing execution, and argued that Indonesia was in a state of emergency over drug-related crimes, citing statistics Jakarta Globe reported to be faulty. This stance drew criticism not only as it could harm Indonesia's foreign relations with the native countries of the condemned convicts, but also because it imperils Indonesia's own citizens facing the death penalty abroad.
After multiple executions in 2015, Australia, Brazil and the Netherlands recalled their ambassadors from Indonesia, Australia reduced its foreign aid to Indonesia by nearly half, and Amnesty International issued a condemnation saying they showed a "complete disregard for due process and human rights safeguards.". Former Indonesian constitutional court chief justice Jimly Asshiddiqie, who was a key player in the anti-death penalty lobby in Jakarta, said the push for the execution of Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan had come from Jokowi personally, with the Sydney Morning Herald reporting that Jokowi did not have or read related documents when he refused their clemency requests. In the same year, Jokowi granted Frenchman Serge Atlaoui and Filipino Mary Jane Veloso temporary reprieves due to pending legal appeals. As of 2017, around 260 people remain on death row in Indonesia.
In early 2016, his administration proposed a new anti-terrorism law to replace the previous one made in 2003. Following the Surabaya bombings of 2018, the worst terrorist attack on Indonesian soil since the 2002 Bali bombings, the controversial bill passed, allowing the Indonesian National Armed Forces to participate in counter-terrorism activities given presidential approval and police requests. The law also allowed extended detention of terrorism suspects, and permitted the use of wiretapping without initial court approval. Jokowi himself threatened to issue a replacement law (Perppu) if the bill did not pass the parliament by June that year. He also supported a controversial 2017 bill on mass organizations, which upon passing saw the Indonesian branch of the Hizb ut-Tahrir being disbanded. He stated that the law was a necessity to defend the national ideology Pancasila.
Although a government-supported symposium to resolve human rights violations following the 1965 30 September Movement was held in 2016, Jokowi stated that his government would not apologize to the Communist Party of Indonesia. On LGBT rights, Jokowi stated that "there should be no discrimination against anyone", but added that "in terms of our beliefs, [the LGBT lifestyle] isn’t allowed, Islam does not allow it."
Prior to Jokowi's election, Indonesia's foreign policy under former President SBY was moulded by the mission statement, "A thousand friends and zero enemies". Jokowi has mandated a three-pronged policy of maintaining Indonesia’s sovereignty, enhancing the protection of Indonesian citizens, and intensifying economic diplomacy.
Jokowi aspires Indonesia to become a global maritime power (Indonesian: poros maritim dunia or global maritime axis). He sees the sea would have an increasingly important role in Indonesia's future, and that as a maritime country, Indonesia must assert itself as a force between the two oceans: the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The five pillars of this maritime-axis doctrine are rebuilding Indonesia's maritime culture, maintaining and managing marine resources, developing maritime infrastructure and connectivity as well as developing the shipping industry and maritime tourism, inviting other nations to cooperate in the marine field and eliminate source of conflicts at sea, and developing maritime defense forces. As part of this vision, Jokowi has adopted a tougher stance on illegal fishing. He stated that Jakarta can no longer tolerate a situation where over 5,000 ships operate illegally in its waters every day, making a mockery out of Indonesian sovereignty and resulting in annual losses of over $20 billion.
On the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, particularly in the Natuna Islands where China's nine-dash line intercepts Indonesian EEZ claims, Jokowi stated that "there will be no compromise on sovereignty", and renamed Indonesia's section of the waters in the South China Sea as "North Natuna Sea". In June 2016, he held a cabinet meeting off the islands aboard the Indonesian Navy corvette KRI Imam Bonjol, calling to step up maritime patrols in the area. Under his administration, Indonesia has released an "Indo-Pacific Vision" for ASEAN countries, which calls for a regional architecture and considered the Indian and Pacific Oceans as a single interconnected geostrategic area.
In the Muslim world, Jokowi released a statement calling for the Muslim leaders at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit meeting in Jakarta to unite in reconciliation and push for Palestinian independence. Under Jokowi, Indonesia's foreign Minister has visited Palestine, but refused entreaties to establish bilateral diplomatic relations with Israel. Jokowi also condemned the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and oversaw the departure of four Indonesian Air Force transport planes with 34 tons of relief supplies for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
Jokowi married his wife Iriana in 1986. The couple have two sons and one daughter. Their first son, Gibran Rakabuming (born 1 October 1987), studied abroad in Sydney and Singapore (at the Management Development Institute of Singapore, MDIS) and currently runs a catering and wedding-planning business in Surakarta. Their only daughter, Kahiyang Ayu (born 20 April 1991), completed an undergraduate degree in food technology at the state-owned Sebelas Maret University in Surakarta. Their second son, Kaesang Pangarep (born 25 December 1994), completed his high school years in ACS International, Singapore, and is an online vlogger. Jokowi has two grandchildren, born in 2016 and 2018 from Gibran and Kahiyang, respectively. Gibran's son, Jan Ethes Srinarendra, was born on 10 March; Kahiyang gave birth to a baby girl named Sedah Mirah Nasution on 1 August.
Jokowi has been described as "Muslim but broadly secular in his outlook". In June 2013, a film titled Jokowi, depicting Jokowi's childhood and youth, was released. He expressed some objections to the film saying that he felt his life had been a simple one and was not worthy of being adapted into a film.
According to The Economist, Jokowi "has a penchant for loud rock music" and owned a bass guitar signed by Robert Trujillo of heavy metal band Metallica, that was confiscated by the anti-corruption commission, KPK. He is also a fan of Lamb of God, Led Zeppelin and Napalm Death. On 2 November 2013, while he was the Governor of Jakarta, he was seen in the rock festival Rock in Solo in casual dress. In November 2017, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who was on an official visit to Jakarta, gave Jokowi a Metallica Master of Puppets vinyl box set as a diplomatic gift. It was signed by the band's drummer and co-founder, Lars Ulrich, a Danish native. In accordance to his policy of transparency, Jokowi paid 11 million rupiah ($800) out of his personal funds to claim the record, which had been declared a state asset in order to avoid accusations of corruption.
2013: Listed as one of "The Leading Global Thinkers of 2013" in Foreign Policy magazine. In February 2013 he was nominated as the global mayor of the month by the City Mayors Foundation, based in London.
Media related to Joko Widodo at Wikimedia Commons
| Mayor of Surakarta
F. X. Hadi Rudyatmo
| Governor of Jakarta
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
| President of Indonesia