The Perils of Popularity for Jokowi

It is too early to say if sweeping changes to Indonesian governance will be made under President-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. But one thing seems certain: his people will be watching. After rising from small-city mayor to Jakarta governor, Jokowi excited legions of followers who spontaneously formed various groups to back his unlikely bid for the presidency. Outspent by his well-heeled opponent, ex-General Prabowo Subianto, and only half-heartedly supported even by elements within his own party, the Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the race was headed for a statistical dead heat until momentum from non-party activists carried Jokowi across the finish line.

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