Magazine article New Internationalist

Introducing. Joko Widodo

Magazine article New Internationalist

Introducing. Joko Widodo

Article excerpt

All too often, a country gets very little real choice in elections. It can simply be a question of Tweedledum versus Tweedledee. Not so the recent presidential elections in Indonesia - the world's third-largest democracy. When the people elected the moderate populist Joko Widodo, they dodged a very big bullet. Since the days of General Suharto's New Order, Indonesian politics has been dominated by the arrogant puffery of military buffoons and millionaires keen to feather their own nests.

The 'bullet' dodged this time was one Prabowo Subianto, a wealthy entrepreneur and former head of Indonesia's Kopassus special forces who has been implicated in the disappearance of democracy activists and in atrocities committed in both Timor-Leste and West Papua.

Joko Widodo provides a sharp contrast. …

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