INDONESIA: “No We Can’t!”- Jokowi’s Popularity Hits a Bump

MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – With an affable personality and Obama-like charm, Joko Widodo nonetheless appears to have fallen from grace after a mere 100 days in office.

The Indonesian president, called “Jokowi” by his loving supporters, got into trouble over the proposed appointment of a new head of the National Police.

Less than a week after Widodo nominated Budi Gunawan as the sole candidate for the top law enforcement job, the country’s anti-corruption commission, the KPK, named Budi as a suspect in a handful of alleged bribery cases.

In classic tit-for-tat, Budi has since sued the commission over the charges, while the National Police recently arrested a top KPK official for allegedly asking witnesses to give false testimony.

Apparently trying to calm things down, Widodo posted on his official Facebook page (translated from Bahasa Indonesia): “…let us build this nation through great ideas and subtract the debates that keep us from getting anywhere. There is no future waiting, there are generations of our children and grandchildren who would hold us accountable for the work we are in today.”

The controversy is ironic because Widodo stepped into office on an anti-corruption platform. Critics now say that Indonesians don’t know who to trust and protesters have called for Widodo to save the country from further political infighting. On Twitter their cause is marked by the hashtag #SaveIndonesia.

Due to his status as a newcomer, I hope the president can #SaveJokowi before he can #SaveIndonesia.

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