Gibran Rakabuming Raka: 5 things to know about Indonesia’s 36-year-old vice president candidate

All you need to know about Gibran Rakabuming

After the 2024 presidential elections, Indonesia might be looking at a new vice president in the form of 36-year-old Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the running mate of 72-year-old Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto.

Source: JKG Udayana

Based on unofficial tallies conducted by Indonesian polling agencies, Prabowo is poised to be Indonesia’s next president with 57% to 59% of votes, the Associated Press (AP) estimated.

While it is not official yet, Gibran Rakabuming also looks set to be the Republic’s vice president.

Here’s what you need to know about the young — and popular — politician, including his formative years in Singapore.

1. He is the son of President Joko Widodo

Gibran Rakabuming is the eldest child of Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo and his wife, Iriana.

Both father and son belong to the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle or PDI-P.

Joko Widodo has previously been questioned about his intentions of building a political dynasty, The Jakart Post (The JP) noted.

“Just leave it to the people,” he said last October in response to the allegations.

Despite their relationship, President Widodo claimed he had not talked to his son about any plans to have the young man serve as Prabowo’s running mate.

2. Gibran Rakabuming studied in Singapore for some time

According to The Straits Times (ST), Gibran was a full-time student at the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) from 2007 to 2010.

In November 2023, MDIS confirmed his qualifications. The institute revealed that the Indonesian had completed an advanced diploma and subsequently graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in marketing.

Before attending the private university, Gibran was enrolled in Orchid Park Secondary School, wrote The JP.

Gibran is not the only one among Joko Widodo’s children to have studied in Singapore.

ST stated in a separate report that his younger brother, Kaesang Pangarep, completed his international baccalaureate (IB) at Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) (International) Singapore.

3. Entrepreneur started career in politics in 2021

After completing his studies, Gibran became an entrepreneur in the food and beverage industry.

In 2010, The JP wrote that he launched the catering business Chilli Pari followed by Markobar — a chain selling sweet martabak or pancakes, as reported by The Guardian.

He also co-founded the start-up Mangkok Ku. A check by MS News showed that he is now listed as an Advisor on the start-up’s website.

However, in 2020, Gibran entered politics for the country’s regional elections, The JP highlighted.

He clinched 86.53% of votes in the Surakarta mayoral election and became the mayor of Surakarta city, Central Java on 26 Feb 2021.

The 36-year-old politician has been holding on to the post since then.

4. Has more than 4 million followers on Instagram

Gibran has quite the following online, with more than 4 million followers on Instagram and 1.4 million followers on X.

Since the start of 2024, he has documented his campaign trail with running mate Prabowo on social media.

His posts included coverage of their appearances at events packed full of supporters and visits to communities.

Source: @gibran_tweet on X

Most recently, the vice presidential candidate celebrated the pair’s strong showing on Wednesday (14 Feb) in two Instagram posts.

Source: @gibran_rakabuming on Instagram

“Thank you Indonesia,” he said in the caption to the post.

He then acknowledged that the road is still long and that they will remain patient and calm.

5. Gibran Rakabuming wasn’t eligible to run for 2024 polls until Oct 2023

Indonesia’s defence minister Prabowo announced on 22 Oct 2023 that he would run for president alongside Gibran Rakabuming, reported ST.

The news came after the Indonesian court ruled that anyone, regardless of age, who has held or currently holds a position elected through a general election, including regional ballots, will be allowed to contest in the 2024 polls.

Before this, the minimum age requirement was 40 years old.

This ruling meant that 36-year-old Gibran Rakabuming qualified to contest this year’s elections.

Should the pair win most of the votes, President Joko Widodo’s son will be the youngest vice president in Indonesia’s history, according to Bloomberg.

Also read: PM Lee congratulates Indonesian defence minister Prabowo for strong showing in presidential election

PM Lee congratulates Indonesian defence minister Prabowo for strong showing in presidential election

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at

Featured image adapted from Prabowo Subianto on Facebook and Facebook.

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.

  • More From Author