Joko Widodo, who rose to become Indonesia’s president in 2014 as a political outsider, is positioning himself to become a power broker in the world’s fourth-most populous nation potentially for decades to come.
The leader popularly known as Jokowi, 61, will step down next year after serving his second and final presidential term. While speculation had initially swirled that his allies would seek to change the constitution to help him stay on for another five years, the president is now focused on ensuring his influence continues well after he steps down, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.
That primarily involved months of behind-the-scenes dealings within his own ruling party to line up 54-year-old Central Java Gov. Ganjar Pranowo as its candidate in next year’s election, a decision announced in April. Jokowi is now heavily involved in deciding Ganjar’s running mate, with an announcement possible as early as this week, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.