The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has appointed Erick Thohir, a media tycoon and the man behind the Asian Games, as chairman of his reelection campaign.
“He is a successful businessman. He owns a media [company], he has a soccer club, basketball club and much more. Whatever he leads is followed by success. Of course, we remember that he was the head of INASGOC [Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee],” the President said while announcing his decision along with his running mate, Ma’ruf Amin.
Erick is the president director of PT Mahaka Media, which counts Islamic daily newspaper Republika, local television station JakTV and popular radio station GenFM among its holdings.
He also owns shares in several international sports teams, including Italian soccer team Inter Milan, US soccer club DC United and the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers.
Analysts have said that Erick's Asian Games success and his resulting appeal among young voters were probably the main reasons Jokowi chose him as campaign chairman.
"He is still young and he can attract millennial votes and counterbalance [Prabowo Subianto running mate] Sandiaga Uno," said Muhammad Qodari, a Political expert from Jakarta-based pollster Indo Barometer. (ahw)