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Bali nine executions: Firm-minded President Joko Widodo will push ahead and execute Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

The new Indonesian president has shown an unexpectedly steely core, which is bad news for the Australian Bali nine smugglers on death row.
Soon after Joko Widodo entered the presidential palace late last year he committed to executing dozens of convicted drug traffickers, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Mr Joko made it abundantly clear that he would follow through with his popular but highly controversial war against drugs, regardless of international outrage.
"We are not going to compromise for drug dealers," Mr Joko told CNN's Christiane Amanpour, claiming that as many as 50 Indonesians are killed by narcotics every day. "No compromise. No compromise."
Political, business, academic and even religious leaders with relevant connections have left no stone unturned in their efforts to save the lives of the two Australians who have, by all accounts, repented for their heroin-trafficking crimes.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been at the forefront of what has mostly been a focused and carefully calibrated campaign to change Mr Joko's mind.
The representations have been heard at the highest levels in Jakarta and may have contributed to a delay in the executions.
On Wednesday Mr Abbott may have overstepped the mark by promising an "unambiguous response" if the executions went ahead, triggering a stinging if predictable response from Jakarta and dismay among some of his own senior colleagues.
And yet Mr Abbott's lapse in rhetorical discipline, if that is what it was, is highly unlikely to bear upon the result.
Once Mr Joko has made up his mind, according to those who know him well, he is not for turning.
In October, on the eve of his inauguration, Mr Joko granted an interview with Fairfax Media in which he appeared every bit as humble, gentle and humane as he comes across in his street communions with "the people" that feature on TV.
We asked Mr Joko if he was too nice to push through hugely difficult petrol price reforms and stare down the immensely rich and unpredictable former military leader, Prabowo Subianto, who appeared to have the means and the will to destroy him from the benches of opposition.
But Mr Joko laughed and promised to press through with those reforms and turn the tables on Mr Prabowo within six months.
"I am very confident," he said, looking entirely unfazed.
Revealingly, Mr Joko also pledged to be tougher on questions of national sovereignty than his firebrand opponent.
President Joko has disappointed many of his admirers by acquiescing to appoint cronies of the powerful matriarch of his political party, Megawati Sukarnoputri, to a series of key positions.
But his mild-mannered exterior and his Javanese aversion to public confrontation have disguised a stubborn inner core that enabled him to climb from the slums of Solo to Jakarta's presidential palace.
In his few months as president, Mr Joko has lived up to his word to reduce the crippling petrol subsidies that were burning through a staggering one-fifth of government revenue.
He has also turned the tables on Mr Prabowo.
Most recently, he has picked an important fight with Ms Megawati, daughter of revered leader Sukarno, by blocking her allegedly corrupt choice as national police chief.
While it is still early days, Mr Joko has shown he will follow through on core commitments and fight important fights despite the accusation from others that he would be a weak leader, a "puppet" of his sponsors, including Megawati.
It is an unexpected steely core that both delights and infuriates his fans.
Mr Joko's close supporters believe he will draw on his stubborn determination to press ahead with a merciless style of narcotics war that the small band of human rights NGOs and lawyers in Jakarta, and the broader international community believe to be tragically misguided.
Was there not even a glimmer of hope for dozens of Indonesian and foreign prisoners, including Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran, who were slated to face the firing squad?
"I tell you there will be no amnesty for drug dealers," said Mr Joko, in his January interview with CNN.
Even in the face of international outrage, which had already seen Brazil and the Netherlands withdraw their ambassadors and Australia's top leaders make strident representations?
No, said the President, shaking his head, he would stay "firm".

Source: CT

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