Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri has said politicians should not “force” their children to join the 2024 general election, calling the practice “annoying”.
In a speech in front of the PDI-P’s nominees for the upcoming regional elections, she said senior politicians should not force themselves to run for office and that it was time for political regeneration.
“Yes, we are old and fading away. It is the youth who have to advance and should be encouraged,” Megawati said on Wednesday as quoted in a statement released by the PDI-P.
She added, however, that this regeneration did not mean that the politicians’ children should be the ones to run in their place. If their children did not have the necessary skills, she said, they should not be forced.
“It’s annoying me. It’s as if we don’t have enough people. [You should treat] the party’s members as your own kids, too, you know,” she said. “If not their children, [politicians force] their wives or nephews and nieces [to run].”
Megawati’s daughter, Puan Maharani, is the current speaker of the House of Representatives, after previously holding the position of a coordinating minister during President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s first term.
Megawati said, however, that Puan has reached political heights not because she had been asked or forced by her mother but because of Puan’s own hard work.
“There were people who said Puan becoming the House speaker was because of me helping her. How was that possible? It was because her voice was loud and nobody could ignore it,” Megawati said.
Megawati added that if the PDI-P wanted to develop as a party, it should not become just a group of families.
“This is the last time I will give opportunities to that person’s child or this person’s wife. In 2024, I hope that it’s all young people that run.”
A number of political bluebloods are set to take part in the 2020 regional elections, including Jokowi’s eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, who is looking to run in the Surakarta mayoral election in Central Java, and Jokowi’s son-in-law, Bobby Nasution, who has thrown his hat into the Medan mayoral race in North Sumatra.
Vice President Ma’ruf Amin’s daughter, Siti Nur Azizah, is also set to run for South Tangerang mayor in Banten, while Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung’s son, Hanindhito Himawan Pramana, recently announced his readiness to run in the Kediri regency election in East Java.
Meanwhile, Democratic Party deputy chairman and the eldest son of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, is widely considered to be among potential 2024 presidential candidates.
When asked about whether he would run in 2024, Agus said he did not want to think about “what-ifs.”
“I just want to continue to prepare myself to carry out any duties that Insyaallah [God willing] will be given to me,” he said recently as quoted by Antara.