Friday, June 14, 2024

Megawati says no to idea of President Jokowi’s third period

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Gusty da Costa





Chairwoman of the Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) Megawati Soekarnoputri strongly opposed the idea of a third presidency period for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. Speaking at the PDIP’s 50th anniversary in Jakarta on January 10, 2023, Megawati reiterated that a president tenure in Indonesia was only two consecutive period.

“[The Constitution stipulates] it is 2 periods. Yes, I am sorry, just 2 periods. It does not mean that Jokowi is not smart. Why do you think I made him president if he is not smart,” the former president said in her speech, referring to Jokowi who joined the party in 2004.

The Constitution states “The President and Vice President hold office for five years, after which they can be re-elected to the same position for one term only”.

Read also: Jokowi supporters push for third term in office

Previously, several Indonesian government officials and Jokowi’s supporters were still trying to push for his third term at office. If it failed, they would seek a leeway for delaying the 2024 General Elections.

Learn from history

Megawati reminded her party cadres on what happened when his father – the country’s founding father and first president Sukarno – was named president for life by the Temporary People’s Consultative Assembly (MPRS) in 1963. He was later toppled from his position four years later.

“Do you want to do the same, to continue it? This is a question of a housewife and a citizen of Indonesia. We do the trials continuously without an end,” she said.

Megawati also said that the 2024 elections should be organized and implemented based on schedule. In her opinion, the year 2023 is a political year prior to the election while the situation is in irregularities. “I said this year is an irregular year. We should continue the work on how the government can run well and the elections should be on schedule,” she said.

Read also: Pollsters list potential candidates for president and vice president in 2024 elections

Meanwhile, during her speech Megawati did not mention any party cadres that she would endorse for the 2024 elections. Survey from various pollsters have named Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo as one of the top three presidential candidates with high electability rate. Ganjar is a PDIP seasoned politician since 2004. Prior to become a governor in 2013, he was a member of the House of Representatives (DPR) for two terms in 2004-2009 and 2009-2013.

Amendment to Constitution

Political Analyst at the Pelita Harapan University, Emrus Sihombing, praised Megawati’s rejection for a third period of Jokowi as “the right thing” and it showed that she was a “constitutional and democratic leader”.

“President Jokowi is also in line with such a view. He has repeatedly said that if there was someone who proposed a third period [for his presidency], they are polishing the apple or they want slap his face,” he said.

Sihombing explained that if political parties proposed a third term for Jokowi, they should amend the Constitution first. “It can be 3 or 4 periods or the duration is 7 years for one term. The Constitution is our guide, no country without a constitution,” he said.

Read also: Supporters seek extension of Jokowi’s presidential term

In his opinion, people who seek third period for Jokowi have at least two motivations: They want to enjoy their prolonged power if Jokowi’s term is extended for 3 periods or they want to slap Jokowi’s face.

“In a political system, there are inputs and outputs. Inputs can be manifested in the form of protests, rejection, ideas and support. If the government, the ruling president accepts and approves the third period, there will be turmoil and chaos in the society. So, the motivation of the people who give such inputs is to topple down Jokowi,” he pointed out.

Gusty da Costa






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