The Jakarta Post
Three former presidents on Thursday joined President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in celebrating Indonesia’s Independence Day at the State Palace.
The country's third president Baharuddin Jusuf Habibie, fifth president Megawati Soekarnoputri and her successor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono accompanied Jokowi for the Palace’s flag-hoisting ceremony to mark the country's 72nd anniversary.
The three former leaders, who wore traditional attire from across the country, also joined him for lunch.
Also present at the celebration were Vice President Jusuf Kalla, former vice president Boediono and wife of the country's fourth president, Sinta Nuriyah Abdurrahman "Gus Dur' Wahid. Gus Dur passed away in December 2009.
It was the first time Yudhoyono joined the celebration at the State Palace after leaving office in 2014. He chose to celebrate Independence Day at his home town of Pacitan, East Java, in the past two years.
Megawati, meanwhile, skipped the event during Yudhoyono’s 10-year tenure and only made an appearance at the Palace after Jokowi — who is a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), of which she is chairwoman — was elected president in 2014.
Speaking after the ceremony, Yudhoyono told reporters: "I hope Indonesia will stay united and that we can develop this nation together. God willing in 2045, this country could become strong, prosperous and just.”