JAKARTA – Indonesia President Joko Widodo’s two sons are set to follow in his political footsteps in the 2024 elections, reported Jakarta Post.
His eldest son, Mr Gibran Rakabuming Raka, who is the mayor of Surakarta in Central Java, said he is ready to run in the gubernatorial race next year.
The 35-year-old said his younger brother Kaesang Pangarep, 28, is also planning to contest the regional head elections.
“There, I’ve leaked it. I am confused and astonished,” Mr Gibran told reporters in the Central Java city on Wednesday, reported Detik.com.
He also urged reporters to ask his brother whether he would run for Surakarta mayor. “Ask him yourself. The most important thing is, I have given him my blessing,” Mr Gibran said in Javanese.
Mr Widodo started his political career by winning the mayoral seat of Surakarta, his hometown, in 2005. He then went on to win the Jakarta governorship in 2012, and the presidential race in 2014.
His son Gibran won the Surakarta mayoral seat in 2021.
Mr Gibran said his brother Kaesang, who runs several F&B businesses, had revealed his political ambitions during a family dinner at Mr Widodo’s private residence in Surakarta on Monday.
“Kaesang seems to be exploring (his options) … He asked me, asked our father,” Mr Gibran told reporters on Tuesday at Surakarta City Hall, reported Tempo.
A graduate from ACS International and the Singapore University of Social Sciences, Mr Kaesang launched F&B ventures such as Sang Pisang and Ternakopi even before his graduation from university.
Both brothers also founded Mangkok Ku restaurant in collaboration with celebrity chef and culinary entrepreneur Arnold Poernomo, reported Jakarta Post.
Mr Kaesang is also a YouTuber and a majority shareholder of the Persis Solo soccer club, which is in the country’s top league, Liga 1.
He was married to former beauty queen Erina Sofia Gudono last December, after his high-profile interfaith romance ended in 2021.
Mr Gibran said Mr Kaesang’s interest in politics grew after the latter observed his father at work, inspecting urban developments in Surakarta.
Mr Gibran said he had never tried to influence his younger brother, adding in jest that he didn’t “want more competitors”. But he also felt that his brother possessed an ability to learn quickly and lead effectively.