Sunday, December 3, 2023

Appointing Presidential Candidates Isn’t My Job: Jokowi

Jayanty Nada Shofa
August 16, 2023 | 11:45 am
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo delivers his annual state address at the Parliament Complex
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo delivers his annual state address at the Parliament Complex's Nusantara Building in Jakarta on August 16, 2023. (Antara Photo/Galih Pradipta)

Jakarta. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said Wednesday that the appointment of a presidential candidate had nothing to do with him as he was not the leader of a political party.

Jokowi on Wednesday delivered the penultimate annual state address as a president at a joint session hosted by the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR).

According to Jokowi, many politicians and parties oftentimes said they were still clueless about who the presidential and vice presidential candidates were as they had not received any instructions from “Mr. Village Chief”.

“I recently learned that they were referring to me when they said ‘Mr. Village Chief'. So I said I’m not a village chief. I’m the President of the Republic of Indonesia. But it turns out that ‘village chief’ was a code,” Jokowi said in front of lawmakers, senators, former leaders, cabinet members, and other distinguished guests.


“I’m not the chairperson of a political party, nor the leader of a coalition. In accordance with the law, it is up to the political parties and their coalition that appoint the candidates. I don’t have the authority to do so. It is not the authority of a president. And not the authority of a ‘village chief’,” Jokowi said in the speech, which is equivalent to the State of the Union Address in the US.

Jokowi then went on to say that he would find himself on campaign posters across the archipelago. 

“I’m aware of how presidents would often be used as an alibi or shield. The campaign season has not even begun, but I have seen my pictures wherever I go, be it provinces, cities, regencies, and even the corners of a small village. My pictures are everywhere, and I was not even alone in those posters. Next to me were the presidential candidates. I guess that is alright," Jokowi said.

Jokowi is a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). The party, which is led by Former President Megawati Soekarnoputri, has nominated Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo as its presidential candidate.

Read More: SBY Absent as Jokowi Delivers State of the Union

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