Anies Rasyid Baswedan, 53, is the governor of Jakarta. He is not a member of any political party.
Mr Baswedan rose to fame in 2007 as an academic. He was appointed the chancellor of Islam-oriented Paramadina University in Jakarta at the age of 38, the youngest chancellor in Indonesia’s history.
He was educated in Yogyakarta and the United States.
Mr Baswedan also founded an educational movement called Indonesia Mengajar, where young professionals were recruited to be elementary teachers in rural areas for a year.
His grandfather Abdurrahman Baswedan is of Arab descent and is considered a national hero for his efforts towards Indonesia’s independence. He had rallied Indonesians of Arab descent to fight for the country’s independence.
In 2013, Mr Baswedan took part in a presidential candidate convention of the Democrat Party, the ruling party of then president Mr Yudhoyono. But he did not win the contest.
The following year, Mr Baswedan declared his support for Mr Widodo and vice-presidential candidate Jusuf Kalla. He served as their campaign spokesperson.
When Mr Widodo won, he appointed Mr Baswedan as his education minister.
But the appointment was short-lived, as the president decided to replace him less than two years into the job.
Gerindra then approached Mr Baswedan as a potential candidate for the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election, pairing him with Mr Sandiaga Uno.
The duo ran against incumbent Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is considered a minority in Indonesia, coming from non-Muslim and non-Javanese backgrounds.
Mr Baswedan lost to Mr Purnama in the first round, but then received the backing of hardline Islamists such as the now-defunct Islamic Defenders Front.
He eventually won the 2017 Jakarta election and has focussed his efforts on urban infrastructure, including the construction of pedestrian walkways, bicycle lanes, an integrated public transport system as well as a new football stadium.
Some political parties have touted him as a potential presidential candidate, including Nasdem, the country’s fourth-largest political party, which concluded a congress to identify potential presidential candidates last week.
However, some fear that political Islam may again feature in the campaigning, like what happened during the gubernatorial election.
Two weeks ago, a group of volunteers wanted to declare their support for Mr Baswedan’s presidential nomination but the event was interrupted when organisers spotted a flag resembling that of the banned extremist group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia at the event.
Source: Channel News Asia