Puan Maharani, second from right, is congratulated after she was sworn in as speaker of the House of Representatives on Monday evening. (Antara Photo/M Risyal Hidayat)

Puan Maharani Sworn In as Indonesia's First Female House Speaker


OCTOBER 02, 2019

Jakarta. Puan Maharani, the only daughter of Megawati Sukarnoputri, Indonesia's first female president, and granddaughter of Sukarno, the country's first president, made history of her own on Tuesday night when she was sworn as the first female speaker of the House of Representatives.

Puan who only resigned as coordinating minister for human development and culture on Monday, represents the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

The PDI-P won most of the seats in the House in the April election, allowing it to appoint the speaker, pending approval by a majority of members.

The 46-year old politician is also an executive of the PDI-P, chaired by her mother. Her late father, Taufiq Kiemas, served as speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) from 2009 until his death in June 2013.

Azis Syamsuddin of the Golkar Party, Sufmi Dasco Ahmad of the main opposition Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), Rachmat Gobel of the National Democratic Party (NasDem) and Muhaimin Iskandar of the National Awakening Party (PKB) were sworn in as deputy speakers.

Only nine parties passed the electoral threshold in this year's election. The PDI-P secured 128 seats, followed by Golkar's 85. Gerindra has 78, NasDem 59, PKB 58, Democratic Party 54, Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) 50, National Mandate Party (PAN) 44 and United Development Party (PPP) 19.

The new House speaker and four deputies were sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice Muhammad Hatta Ali.

"Although the functions of the House of Representatives will be running dynamically, don't let it divide us and make us become counterproductive," Puan said in her first remarks as the House speaker.

She urged all House members to promote the spirit of gotong royong, or mutual cooperation, to optimize their work as the people's representatives.

La Nyalla Mattalitti, a former chairman of the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI), was elected speaker of the 131-member Regional Representative Council (DPD) on Monday evening.