JAKARTA (BLOOMBERG) – Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo could extend his time in government by running for the number two post in the 2024 presidential election if he gets nominated, local media Kompas reported, citing a senior official from his party.
There is no constitutional rule preventing Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, from running as vice-president, the local news outlet said, quoting Bambang Wuryanto, a senior official with Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle.
Widodo is on the last term of his presidency and is barred constitutionally from seeking a third term.
His nomination as vice-presidential candidate would depend on the party’s chairman Megawati Soekarnoputri, Wuryanto said.
Megawati herself was Indonesia’s president from 1999 to 2004 and local media have speculated she would like to see her daughter run for the presidency.
Since early this year, Indonesia’s political elite have openly discussed the possibility of amending the Constitution to allow Widodo to go for a third term.
Critics said a third term for Widodo would herald a return to the era of former president Suharto who ruled for three decades with an iron fist until his ouster in 1998, after which Indonesia embraced a freer democracy.
Proponents of the move argue it will help the government see through an ambitious infrastructure agenda, which includes relocating the capital to Kalimantan.
Widodo has dismissed speculation of an extended presidency, saying in a recent interview with Bloomberg News that he will abide by the Constitution.