In typical Joko Widodo fashion, the president today evaded committing one way or the other on whether he would be willing to run for vice president when his term ends in 2024.
The issue became a national talking point when Constitutional Court spokesman Fajar Laksono recently stated that once a president serves his/her two five-year term limit, the constitution does not forbid him/her from running for vice president.
When quizzed about the VP possibility during a press conference today, Jokowi called back to the times when people alleged that he had ambitions to amend the constitution to add a third presidential term or to lengthen his current term.
“I never said those things. I have addressed the matter of the three presidential terms, and after that came the term expansion issue, which I also addressed,” Jokowi said.
“And now people are saying I can be vice president. Who gave you that idea?
“If the statement came from me, I will explain it. If it didn’t come from me, I don’t want to explain it. That’s all.”
It’s important to note that Jokowi did not explicitly say “no” to any of the three aforementioned rumors, though the president has repeatedly reiterated his desire to abide by the constitution during the transition of power in 2024.
Though the presidential election is two years away, we’re already seeing the country’s most popular politicians begin jostling for a spot in the limelight. Early favorites include Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, and Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, who, in an interview with Reuters, said he was “prepared” to run for president after five years of leading Jakarta.
What seems somewhat certain at this point is that none of these politicians would be able to count on Jokowi as their running mate, though the president would be an extremely valuable partner to have.