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Longest-running party leader Megawati may lead PDI-P again

Jakarta Post - August 1, 2019

Jakarta – Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri may retain her position as the longest-serving party leader in the country, as party officials are likely to endorse her continued leadership during the upcoming PDI-P national congress.

Party executives decided during the recent PDI-P's national working meeting that they wanted Megawati to stay at the party's helm for the next five years, said PDI-P secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto.

"The aspirations of our members is for Ibu Megawati to remain our leader," Hasto said on Thursday.

Thirty-three out of 34 PDI-P regional branches from across the country have held their regional conferences, while Aceh's PDI-P chapter is set to hold its meeting on Saturday, he added.

The PDI-P, currently the ruling party and winner of the 2019 legislative race, is set to hold its fifth national congress on Aug. 8-10 in Bali, nine months earlier than the initially planned date in April 2020.

One of the congress' goals is to elect a new leader, a decision that is made by the party's executives through a deliberation for consensus instead of a voting mechanism.

Megawati, who was president from 2000 to 2004, has been the PDI-P's chairwoman since 1999, making her the longest-running top executive of any of the country's political parties.

Hasto went on to say that during the congress, party members would also discuss matters related to the party's structure.

PDI-P executives have previously floated the possibility of appointing a chief executive or deputy chairman to handle day-to-day party's affairs. Speculation was rife that Megawati's children, Puan Maharani and Prananda Prabowo, are among the top candidates to take over the role.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is scheduled to deliver a speech during the congress' opening ceremony, which is expected to also see state officials and prominent figures in attendance, including vice president-elect Ma'ruf Amin.

Jokowi's opponent in the 2019 election and Gerindra Party patron Prabowo Subianto is also expected to attend, Hasto said. (rfa/afr)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/08/01/longest-running-party-leader-megawati-may-lead-pdi-p-again.html