In 2008, Martowardojo was also nominated by the president for the position of governor. Back then, however, he failed to pass the fit and proper test and was rejected by the House of Representatives. But his rejection was possibly not because of a lack of capabilities but more due to a political strategy of the DPR to block the president's wish.

Martowardojo, an experienced banker, had a successful time as head of Bank Mandiri, Indonesia's largest bank by assets, between 2005 and 2010. In that period Bank Mandiri's corporate performance showed robust growth.

But after being Finance minister for almost three years, Martowardojo also made opponents, both in the DPR and Indonesia's business community. Voices are already heard from within the DPR that question Martowardojo's nomination. These voices say that he lacks profound knowledge on macroeconomics and question his integrity as he has been called as a witness in the Hambalang sports-center case. This case, in which bribes were paid to secure construction contracts, already resulted in a few high positioned political victims, but there has been no indication yet that Martowardojo is involved in that case.