The winner of the Indonesian elections, Joko Widodo, Jokowi, has been dubbed the Barack Obama of Indonesia. The two spent their childhood in financial difficulties, the two got their start in politics working with communities and both based their campaign on a premise of change, to break with the past and the traditional policy of their country. The two spent very little time being almost completely unknown to enjoy immense popularity. To share even a physical resemblance.
The accessible style until now governor of Jakarta is, however, more like another American Democratic president, Bill Clinton. Unlike Obama may seem distant at times, even arrogant, Jokowi has the “touch of the street.” A popular, outgoing, tap consisting appear at shirt or plaid shirt and sneakers and has broken with the formalism of his predecessor, reliable, but stiff, Sushilo Bambang Yudhoyono. And of course, he has drawn a line off the Indonesian political caste of lifetime, even under the shadow of the military regime of Suharto and represented by his electoral rival, General Prabowo Subianto.
53, Jokowi born in Solo, a city of half a million people on the island of Java, in a working class family. Father carpenter, the eldest of four children and only son, lived during his childhood the eviction of his family, something that would mark his policy years later.
He graduated in forestry studies and began to work in the timber industry, first as an employee, then a company.
A series of visits to Europe led him to go into politics. Meet the cities of the Old Continent gave him ideas on how to improve the Indonesian, lush and vital cities, but also chaotic, full of inequalities, long and short in traffic on public services. He became mayor of Solo in 2005, where he developed public housing or creating markets where vendors could offer their wares in a regulated manner. Implemented initiatives also unusual in an Indonesian politician until then, how to approach community meetings to hear the views of voters on transportation, or the price of food.
In 2012 was presented, and won easily, the elections for governor of the capital, Jakarta. That repeated several policies that won him popularity in his district: the neighbors in makeshift slums, improving public transport and public health system for residents views.
This year, polls gave as clear electoral favorite though was losing distance in the polls. His detractors accuse him of lack of experience in national and international politics. The, an enthusiast of new technologies, promising a ” revolution in thinking “, which will focus on the fight against corruption, one of the endemic problems of the country and intolerance and forge a new national character. His main tool, he says, is education.
The official count released today gives him the win, the tightest of the democratic era in Indonesia. Jokowi embodies, as Obama did in 2008, hopes, sometimes disparate, a people who long for a change. As U.S. President will be among his first tasks is to revive an ailing economy. Also have other challenges such as the fight against corruption. Will have to see if these challenges prove stronger than hope or not.