Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has appointed Erick Thohir, the media magnate behind the successful hosting of this year's Asian Games, to lead his reelection campaign.
"He is a successful businessman. He is the owner of a media company, football clubs, basketball club and many more. But what is clear is that whatever he leads, is always followed by success," Jokowi said on Friday (07/09), as quoted by BeritaSatu.com.
Erick owns shares in several international sports teams, including Italian football club Inter Milan and Washington-based football club DC United.
He also chairs the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) and is president director of Mahaka Media, a multiplatform media company comprised of daily newspaper Republika, television station JakTV and radio station GenFM. He also has shares in national television station TVOne.
Erick said he accepted the role because he believes in Jokowi.
"What I can see from Mr. Joko Widodo is his powerful conscience for the people and [his desire] to build Indonesia. That was the basis of my decision," Erick said.
Jokowi, who is running for a second term along with Islamic scholar Ma'ruf Amin as his running mate, said he is seeking to build a campaign team comprising people from various backgrounds. He said Erick's excellent management skills will be important for the success of his bid for reelection.
Incumbent Vice President Jusuf Kalla was meanwhile appointed as chairman of the campaign's steering board.
Muhammad Qodari, executive director of Jakarta-based pollster Indo Barometer, said earlier this week that Erick could help Jokowi attract more votes from millennials.
"He is young. He could attract millennials' votes and counterbalance Sandiaga Uno. [Moreover,] kids today like to see successful businessmen," Qodari said, referring to presidential rival Prabowo Subianto's running mate.
Qodari added that Erick has a good track record after the success of the 2018 Asian Games, while he also has an extensive network among the country's political elite.
Writing by Sheany