Joko won't be derailed by 'ticket to ride' protest

Joko won't be derailed by 'ticket to ride' protest
Protesters with their "Jakarta to Solo ticket" banner. They are unhappy over Jakarta governor Joko Widodo's decision to run for the Indonesian presidency.

Demonstrators outside Jakarta's City Hall held up a blown-up train ticket to Solo for Jakarta governor Joko Widodo, whom they accuse of breaking his promise to serve Jakarta for five years when he agreed to run for president on the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P) ticket.

Mr Joko, commonly known as Jokowi, was the popular mayor of Solo in Central Java before he was elected governor of the Indonesian capital in 2012. He has come under attack from critics and political opponents for his decision to run for the presidency.

At the protest on Tuesday, coordinator Achmad Yusup from the People's Coalition for a New Jakarta said he was disappointed as he had backed Mr Joko's campaign in 2012, and hoped the governor could stay on to fix Jakarta's problems, including flooding. Mr Joko's supporters, however, say he would be better able to serve the capital as president.

The protesters hurled the ticket into the compound of the governor's office before they left.

As for Mr Joko, he kept his cool, telling reporters: "Why a train ticket? They should have gotten a plane ticket, grateful if it was business class."

"For sure, it was organised," he added, saying he had contested four elections and was familiar with such protests. "I've been pressed, attacked, mocked, almost every day. No matter," he said.

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