Sep 29, 2013

Heavy Metal Governor Tipped for Indonesian Presidency

Global Post reports that 52-year old Indonesian politician Joko Widodo has quickly risen to the top of opinion polls as a figure regarded as outside the establishment.

"I listen to loud metal songs, from Metallica to Led Zeppelin, to Napalm Death... because rock is my passion," the skinny governor of the Indonesian capital, popularly known as "Jokowi", told AFP ahead of Metallica concert where he spends time among people, not a usual task for a politician.

The city chief's laid-back demeanour hides a potent political force and is part of the down-to-earth charm that has captivated the nation and shaken up a political arena dominated by aloof figures from the era of dictator Suharto.

Just one year after being elected, the man who was born in a riverbank slum is favourite to become Indonesia's next president at elections in 2014, despite not having declared his candidacy.

"He is different from other powerful figures who don't care about ordinary people," 32-year old concert-goer Rizqi Widyasari told AFP, echoing the sentiments of many who are delighted to have a leader with the common touch.

There are also signs that Widodo does not really want to become president and spend his days surrounded by the country's most powerful people. At the Metallica concert last month in Jakarta, he looked distinctly uncomfortable mingling with the rich and powerful in the VIP area -- and insisted he would prefer to be among the crowd. Widodo owns a bass guitar signed by Metallica.


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