That could have dragged out the process for several weeks. METEORIC RISE A former furniture businessman, Jokowi has had a meteoric rise through Indonesia’s political establishment. Born into poverty but now governor of Jakarta, he won over voters with a clean image and a reputation for competence in local government, in contrast to the autocracy, corruption and power politics that have weighed down the country for decades. The new president, who starts his five-year term on Oct. 20, faces huge challenges to boost Indonesia’s sagging growth, cut an unsettlingly large current account deficit that is weighing on the currency and meet pledges to improve the lot of its 240 million people. Once surging foreign investment has started to taper off, with companies put off by the lack of infrastructure and what are seen as increasingly nationalist laws. Poverty among the world’s biggest Muslim population is also worsening and the budget is too tight to allow heavy spending. One of Jokowi’s first challenges will be to cut into fuel subsidies which distort the economy and eat up about a fifth of the annual budget.
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