Bella Evangelista, Jakarta – Megawati Soekarnoputri on Tuesday denied putting pressure on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo although she had said on many occasions that the president is also a member of her Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle or PDI-P.
The chairwoman of the ruling party said she took the decision to pick Jokowi as a candidate but once he won the 2014 presidential election Jokowi belonged to the Indonesian people.
"After he was sworn in by the People's Consultative Assembly, I respect him as my president. If you said that I put him under pressure, let me ask you: how do I do that?" Megawati told reporters after a PDI-P meeting in Jakarta attended also by the president.
She said she wouldn't dare to tell Jokowi what to do, jokingly pointing to a number of presidential security guards standing near Jokowi. "I don't have that kind of force," Megawati said as Jokowi responded with a smile.
The PDI-P has nominated Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, who was also present at the news conference, for the 2024 presidential election.
The ruling party is expected to announce Ganjar's running mate later this month but the nominee is still kept from public knowledge.
Earlier in the day, Megawati, Jokowi, and his potential successor Ganjar held a closed-door meeting with other PDI-P executives including House Speaker Puan Maharani, who is in charge of the campaign team for Ganjar, but there was no word about the running mate.
Jokowi said that during the meeting, he told the PDI-P to prepare the grand design to make Indonesia a developed nation in the coming years.