It's official: yesterday afternoon, the announcement was made that Megawati Sukarnoputri was endorsing Jakarta Governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo as her party's presidential candidate.
The party announced the nomination over Twitter via its account @PDI_Perjuangan, and soon after launched a logo for Jokowi's campaign, fitted with an abbreviation ready for hashtagging: JKW4P, Jokowi for president.
The night before in Jakarta's Old Town, the previously neglected Dutch-era buildings in Fatahillah Square were lit up with coloured floodlights on their freshly painted facades. Visitors who arrived on public transport cut quickly through peak hour traffic, thanks to a months-long campaign to keep the TransJakarta busway lane clear. The square itself was filled with a gourmet food festival, multiple performance stages and thousands of Jakartans enjoying an open public event.
Jokowi was there to launch the revitalisation of the Old Town and the opening of Jakarta Art Space, a gallery in the old Pos Indonesia building showing works from contemporary Indonesian artists who are fast gaining attention in international art circles. Local journalists scrutinised Jokowi's every move.
A day earlier, he had joined Megawati on a visit to Blitar in East Java, the resting place of Megawati's father and Indonesia's first president, Sukarno. Speculation was at fever pitch over when Megawati would finally name Jokowi as the presidential candidate for her party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). For months, polls have tipped Jokowi as a sure winner should he enter the presidential race. Still, the party tried to shake off the significance of the trip.
'It's a tradition to rekindle the spirit of Sukarno and instil his teachings in our heart as we approach the election,' PDI-P deputy secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto told the press. National newspaper Kompas latched on to the accusation that Jokowi had made the trip to Blitar without taking formal leave from his position as governor.
At the gallery opening on Thursday, Kompas reporters followed Jokowi as he rushed out after cutting the ribbon, even when aides said he was just going to the toilet. The reporters expressed indignation when, 15 minutes later, Jokowi quietly left the event without answering any of their questions.
The next morning, the Jakarta Post toned down its speculation over Megawati's rumoured endorsement for Jokowi as her party's presidential candidate, quoting PDI-P members and political analysts who said the public was reading too quickly and too deeply into the significance of the Blitar visit. Yet by the end of the day, speculation was at an end. Jokowi is in the race, and is immediately the front-runner.
If the progress made in Jakarta's formerly crumbling and abandoned Old Town is any indication, a Jokowi presidency could bring big changes to Indonesia over the next five years. Now the question on everyone's mind is, who will he choose as his running mate?