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Jakarta Post

Presidential inauguration moved to afternoon to accommodate churchgoers

  • Ghina Ghaliya and Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, October 9, 2019   /   04:30 pm
Presidential inauguration moved to afternoon to accommodate churchgoers President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo appears with vice president-elect Ma'ruf Amin to deliver his victory speech on June 30 at the General Elections Commission in Central Jakarta. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

The People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) has moved the planned inauguration of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and vice president-elect Ma’ruf Amin from Sunday morning to the afternoon in the name of “tolerance”.

According to the initial schedule, the pair that emerged victorious in the presidential election in April was to be sworn in at 10 a.m., but the MPR decided to reschedule the inauguration ceremony to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

MPR Speaker Bambang Soesatyo said the change was made to allow Christians to attend Sunday morning church services before witnessing the inauguration ceremony in the afternoon.

"We want to [prioritize] tolerance," the Golkar Party politician said.

He added that Jakartans’ weekly routine of having car-free-day activities on Sunday morning on thoroughfares of the capital also would not be disrupted if the ceremony was moved to the afternoon.

MPR Deputy Speaker Syarif Hasan of the Democratic Party, meanwhile, said the rescheduling was to give more members of the public the opportunity to witness the inauguration of Jokowi and Ma’ruf, who are set to serve as the country’s leadership pair until 2024.

Previously, Budi Arie Setiadi, the chairman of Projo ─ a volunteer group supporting Jokowi ─ had requested that the inauguration be scheduled for Saturday, as many Indonesians went to church on Sunday.

However, General Elections Commission (KPU) commissioner Hasyim Ashari insisted the inauguration be conducted on Oct. 20 as scheduled. 

He explained that a president's term should last exactly five years. Since the first-ever direct presidential election was carried out in the country in 2004, the inauguration ceremony was always held on Oct. 20.