Megawati Sukarnoputri
Overview
 
In this Indonesian name, the name "Sukarnoputri" is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name "Megawati".

Diah Permata Megawati Setiawati Sukarnoputri (In traditional Indonesian spelling, her name is written as Dyah Permata Megawati Setyawati Soekarnoputri. born 23 January 1947), also known simply as Megawati, is an Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

n politician, and leader of the opposition party PDI-P.
Encyclopedia
In this Indonesian name, the name "Sukarnoputri" is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name "Megawati".

Diah Permata Megawati Setiawati Sukarnoputri (In traditional Indonesian spelling, her name is written as Dyah Permata Megawati Setyawati Soekarnoputri. born 23 January 1947), also known simply as Megawati, is an Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

n politician, and leader of the opposition party PDI-P. She served as the President of Indonesia
President of Indonesia
The President of the Republic of Indonesia is the head of state and the head of government of the Republic of Indonesia.The first president was Sukarno and the current president is Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.- Sukarno era :...

 from 23 July 2001 to 20 October 2004. She was the country's first female President, and the fourth woman to lead a predominantly Muslim nation. She is also the first Indonesian leader to be born after independence. Megawati is the daughter of Indonesia's first president, Sukarno
Sukarno
Sukarno, born Kusno Sosrodihardjo was the first President of Indonesia.Sukarno was the leader of his country's struggle for independence from the Netherlands and was Indonesia's first President from 1945 to 1967...

.

After serving as Vice-President under Abdurrahman Wahid
Abdurrahman Wahid
Abdurrahman Wahid, born Abdurrahman Addakhil , colloquially known as , was an Indonesian Muslim religious and political leader who served as the President of Indonesia from 1999 to 2001...

, Megawati became President when Wahid was removed from office in 2001. She ran for re-election in the 2004 presidential election
Indonesian presidential election, 2004
The first direct presidential election in Indonesia was held in two rounds on 5 July and 20 September 2004. Prior to a 2002 amendment to the Constitution of Indonesia, the President and Vice President was elected by the country's top legislative body, the People's Consultative Assembly.Under the...

 but was defeated by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono AC , is an Indonesian politician and retired Army general officer who has been President of Indonesia since 2004....

. She sought a rematch 2009 presidential election
Indonesian presidential election, 2009
Presidential elections were held in Indonesia on 8 July 2009. The elections returned a president and vice president for the 2009–2014 period. A run-off election was scheduled to be held on 8 September if needed, but President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono won more than 60% of the vote in the first...

, losing again to Yudhoyono.

Early life

Megawati Sukarnoputri was born on 23 January 1947 in Yogyakarta to President Sukarno, who had declared Indonesia's independence from the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 in 1945 and Fatmawati
Fatmawati
Fatmawati is a National Hero of Indonesia . As the first Indonesian First Lady, She was the third wife of Sukarno, the first president of Indonesia, and the mother of the first female president. She constructed the first flag flown by Indonesia.-Life:Fatmawati was born on 5 February 1923 in...

, one of Sukarno's nine wives. Megawati was Sukarno's second child and first daughter. As a child, Megawati grew up in her father's Merdeka Palace. She would dance in front of her father's guests and developed a hobby for gardening. Megawati was 19 when her father was overthrown and succeeded by a military government led by Suharto. Sukarno's family was ignored by the new government provided they stayed out of politics.

Megawati attended Padjadjaran University in Bandung
Bandung
Bandung is the capital of West Java province in Indonesia, and the country's third largest city, and 2nd largest metropolitan area in Indonesia, with a population of 7.4 million in 2007. Located 768 metres above sea level, approximately 140 km southeast of Jakarta, Bandung has cooler...

 to study agriculture, but dropped out in 1967 to be with her father following his fall from power. In 1970, the year her father died, Megawati went to the University of Indonesia
University of Indonesia
The Universitas Indonesia, is a state, comprehensive world class university located in Depok, West Java and Salemba, Jakarta, Indonesia. Universitas Indonesia is the oldest tertiary-level educational institution in Indonesia...

 to study psychology but dropped out after two years. She is a practising Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 but also follows traditional Javanese beliefs
Javanese beliefs
Javanese beliefs have principles embodying a search for inner self but at the core is the concept of peace of mind. Although Kejawen is not strictly a religious affiliation, it addresses ethical and spiritual values as inspired by Javanese tradition. It is not a religion in usual sense of the...

.

Member of the Legislative Branch

In 1986, Suharto gave the status of Proclamation Hero to Sukarno in a ceremony attended by Megawati herself. Suharto's acknowledgment of Sukarno enabled the Indonesian Democratic Party
Indonesian Democratic Party
The Indonesian Democratic Party was one of the two state-approved parties during the New Order era of the late 20th-century in Indonesia.-Origins:...

 (PDI), a government-sanctioned party, to run a campaign centered on Sukarno nostalgia in the lead up to the 1987 Legislative Elections. Up to that time, Megawati had seen herself as a housewife, but in 1987 she joined PDI and ran for a People's Representative Council
People's Representative Council
The People's Representative Council , sometimes referred to as the House of Representatives, is one of two elected national legislative assemblies in Indonesia....

 (DPR) membership. PDI was only too keen to accept Megawati and boost their own image. Megawati quickly became popular, her status as Sukarno's daughter overruling her general lack of oratorical skills. Although PDI came last in the 1987 Legislative Elections, Megawati was elected to the DPR. Like all members of the DPR she also became a member of the People's Consultative Assembly
People's Consultative Assembly
The People's Consultative Assembly is the legislative branch in Indonesia's political system. It is composed of the members of the People's Representative Council and the Regional Representative Council. Before 2004, and the amendments to the 1945 Constitution, the MPR was the highest governing...

 (MPR)

Chairperson of PDI

Megawati was not re-elected to the DPR or the MPR, but continued as a PDI member. In December 1993, PDI held a National Congress. as was always the case when New Order opposition parties hold their congresses, the Government actively interfered in the Congress to ensure that the opposition parties would be tame towards them. As the Congress approached, three contenders for the Chairpersonship of PDI became evident. The first candidate was incumbent Suryadi who had started to become overly critical of the Government, the second candidate was Budi Harjono a Government-friendly figure whom the Government wanted to win the Chairpersonship, and finally, there was Megawati. Megawati's candidacy received such overwhelming support that her election at the Congress would only be a formality.

Sensing this, the Government began to maneuver to ensure that Megawati would not be elected. When the Congress assembled, the Government began to stall and all attempts to hold the Chairperson election were delayed. A situation then developed whereby if PDI did not elect a Chairperson by the end of the Congress, the Congress would not be allowed to continue because their permit to assemble would run out. As the hours ticked down to the end of the Congress, troops began gathering at the site of the Congress. Finally with two hours before the permit to assemble ran out, Megawati called a press conference. Megawati stated at the press conference, that because she enjoyed the support of a majority of PDI members, she was now the de facto Chairperson of PDI. Despite her relative lack of political experience, she was popular in part for her status as the daughter of Sukarno, but also because she was seen as free of corruption and having admirable personal qualities. Under her leadership, PDI gained a large following among the urban poor and both urban and rural middle classes.

On the other hand the Government was outraged that they failed to prevent Megawati's election as Chairperson of PDI. They never acknowledged Megawati although Megawati's self-appointment to the Chairpersonship had been ratified in 1994 by PDI. Finally in 1996, the Government managed to convene a Special National Congress in Medan
Medan
- Demography :The city is Indonesia's fourth most populous after Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung, and Indonesia's largest city outside of Java island. Much of the population lies outside its city limits, especially in Deli Serdang....

. This Congress, attended by anti-Megawati figures, re-elected Suryadi to the Chairpersonship of PDI. Megawati and her camp refused to acknowledge the results of the Government-backed congress, and PDI was divided into pro-Megawati and anti-Megawati camps.

Suryadi began threatening to take back PDI's Headquarters in Jakarta. This threat came true during the morning of 27 July 1996. Suryadi's supporters (reportedly with the Government's backing) attacked the PDI Headquarters and faced resistance from Megawati supporters who had been stationed there ever since the National Congress in Medan. In the ensuing fight, Megawati's supporters managed to hold on to the headquarters. A riot then ensued, followed by a crackdown by the Government. The Government later blamed the riots on the People's Democracy Party (PRD); they recognized Suryadi's PDI as the official PDI and also banned Megawati from competing in the 1997 Legislative Election.

Despite what seemed to be a political defeat, Megawati scored a moral victory and her popularity grew. When the time came for the 1997 Legislative Elections, Megawati and her supporters threw their support behind the United Development Party
United Development Party
The United Development Party , sometimes translated as Development Unity Party is a political party in Indonesia. It is an islamic party and currently led by Suryadharma Ali.-Origins:...

 (PPP), the other political party that the Government had allowed to exist.

Reformasi

In mid 1997, Indonesia began to be affected by the Asian Financial Crisis and showed severe economic distress by late January 1998 when the rupiah fell to nearly 15,000 against the dollar, compared to only 4,000 in early December. This combined with increasing public anger at pervasive corruption, culminated in May 1998 with Suharto's resignation from the Presidency and the assumption of that office by Vice President B. J. Habibie
Jusuf Habibie
Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie , also known B. J. Habibie, was the third and shortest-serving President of Indonesia, serving from 1998 to 1999.-Early life and career:...

. With removal of the restrictions on her, Megawati began to consolidate her political position. In October 1998, her supporters held a National Congress whereby Megawati's PDI would now be known as the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle
Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle
The Indonesian Democratic Party – Struggle is an Indonesian political party. It is led by Megawati Sukarnoputri, the daughter of Indonesian independence leader and first president Sukarno. Megawati was President of Indonesia from 2001 to 2004...

 (PDI-P) to differentiate itself from the PDI of Suryadi. Megawati was elected as Chairperson and was nominated as the Party's Presidential candidate.

Megawati's PDI-P, together with Abdurrahman Wahid
Abdurrahman Wahid
Abdurrahman Wahid, born Abdurrahman Addakhil , colloquially known as , was an Indonesian Muslim religious and political leader who served as the President of Indonesia from 1999 to 2001...

's National Awakening Party (PKB) and Amien Rais
Amien Rais
Amien Rais is a prominent Indonesian politician who led and inspired the reform movement that forced the resignation of President Suharto in 1998. Amien Rais was the leader of Muhammadiyah, one of the two biggest Muslim organizations in Indonesia, from 1995 to 2000...

' National Mandate Party
National Mandate Party
The National Mandate Party is a moderate Islamist political party in Indonesia. It was founded by reformists, including Amien Rais, chairman of the Muhammadiyah organization, during the Indonesian reformation...

 (PAN), became the leading forces of the Reform movement. Despite their popularity, Megawati, Wahid, and Rais adopted a moderate stance, preferring to wait until the 1999 Legislative Elections to begin taking power. In November 1998, Megawati, together with Wahid, Rais, and Hamengkubuwono X reiterated their commitment to Reform through the Ciganjur Statement.

As the 1999 legislative elections approached, there was hope that Megawati, Wahid, and Amien would form a political coalition against President Habibie and Golkar
Golkar
The Party of the Functional Groups is a political party in Indonesia. It is also known as Sekber Golkar . It was the ruling party during Suharto's regime...

. In May 1999, this hope came close to being a reality when Alwi Shihab
Alwi Shihab
Alwi Abdurrahman Shihab is one of the leading authorities and scholars on the interaction of Christian and Muslim communities. Currently he is the Indonesian President's special envoy to Middle-East and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation...

 held a press conference at his house during which Megawati, Wahid, and Amien were to announce that they would work together. At the last minute, Megawati chose not to attend because she decided that she could not trust Amien. In June 1999, the 1999 legislative elections were held. PDI-P was undoubtedly the most popular political party and it came first with 33% of the votes.

With PDI-P's Legislative Election victory, the prospects of Megawati becoming President became more real. This prospect was detested by the United Development Party
United Development Party
The United Development Party , sometimes translated as Development Unity Party is a political party in Indonesia. It is an islamic party and currently led by Suryadharma Ali.-Origins:...

 (PPP) who did not want Indonesia to have a female President. In preparation for the 1999 MPR General Session, PDI-P formed a loose coalition with PKB. As the MPR General Session approached, it seemed as if the Presidential election was going to be contested by Megawati and Habibie but by late June, Amien had managed to draw the Islamic parties together in a coalition called the Central Axis. The Presidential election also became a three way race when Amien floated the idea of nominating Wahid for President; but Wahid did not provide a clear response to this.

1999 MPR General Session

Megawati's PDI-P and PKB coalition faced its first test when the MPR assembled to choose its Chairman. Megawati threw her support behind Matori Abdul Djalil, the Chairman of PKB. Matori was overwhelmingly defeated by Amien, who in addition to enjoying Central Axis support was also backed by Golkar. The Golkar and Central Axis coalition then struck again when they secured Akbar Tanjung
Akbar Tanjung
Akbar Tanjung is an Indonesian politician who is a former chairman of Golkar party. He was the Speaker of the People's Representative Council from 1999 to 2004...

's election as Head of DPR. At this stage, people became wary that Megawati, who best represented reform, was going to be obstructed by the political process and that the status quo was going to be preserved. PDI-P supporters began to gather in Jakarta.

With the rejection of Habibie's accountability speech and Habibie's withdrawal from the Presidential race, the Presidential election to be held on 20 October 1999 came down to Megawati and Wahid. Megawati took an early lead, but was overtaken and lost with 313 votes compared to Wahid's 373. Megawati's loss provoked her supporters to begin rioting. Riots raged in Java and Bali
Bali
Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east...

. In the City of Solo, PDI-P masses managed to attack Amien's house.

The next day, the MPR assembled to elect the Vice President. PDI-P had considered nominating Megawati for Vice President, but were concerned that the Central Axis and Golkar coalition would once again thwart her. Finally, PKB took the initiative and nominated Megawati as a Vice Presidential candidate. She faced stiff competition from Hamzah Haz
Hamzah Haz
Hamzah Haz is an Indonesian politician. He is the head of the United Development Party and served as the ninth Vice-President from 2001 until 2004....

, Akbar Tanjung
Akbar Tanjung
Akbar Tanjung is an Indonesian politician who is a former chairman of Golkar party. He was the Speaker of the People's Representative Council from 1999 to 2004...

, and General Wiranto
Wiranto
Wiranto is a retired Indonesian army General. He was Commander of the military of Indonesia from February 1998 to October 1999, and ran unsuccessfully for President of Indonesia in 2004 and the vice-presidency in 2009....

. Well aware of the riots that had happened after Megawati's Presidential election defeat, Akbar and Wiranto withdrew from the Vice Presidential race. Hamzah on the other hand insisted on competing with Megawati. Finally, Megawati defeated Hamzah with 396 votes to 284 to become Vice President. In her inauguration speech, she called for her supporters to calm down.

Work as Vice President

As Vice President, Megawati had considerable authority by virtue of her commanding a lot of the seats in the DPR. Wahid delegated to her the problems in Ambon, although she was not successful. By the time the MPR Annual Session assembled in August 2000, many considered Wahid to be ineffective as President or at the very least as an administrator. Wahid responded to this by issuing a Presidential Decree, giving Megawati day-to-day control of the Government.

2000 PDI-P National Congress

The First PDI-P Congress was held in Semarang
Semarang
- Economy :The western part of the city is home to many industrial parks and factories. The port of Semarang is located on the north coast and it is the main shipping port for the province of Central Java. Many small manufacturers are located in Semarang, producing goods such as textiles,...

, Central Java
Central Java
Central Java is a province of Indonesia. The administrative capital is Semarang. It is one of six provinces on the island of Java.This province is the province of high Human Development in Indonesia and its Points Development Index countries is equivalent to Lebanon. The province of Central Java...

 in April 2000, at which Megawati was re-elected as the Chairperson of PDI-P for a 2nd term.

The Congress was noted as one where Megawati consolidated her position within PDI-P by taking harsh measures to remove potential rivals. During the election for the Chairperson, two other candidates emerged in the form of Eros Djarot
Eros Djarot
Eros Djarot is an Indonesian songwriter, director and politician. Beginning his music career with the soundtrack of Kawin Lari in 1976, Djarot became famous with the success of Badai Pasti Berlalu and its soundtrack album...

 and Dimyati Hartono. Both Eros and Dimyati ran for the Chairpersonship because they did not want Megawati to hold the PDI-P Chairpersonship while concurrently being Vice President. When Eros finally received his nomination from the South Jakarta
South Jakarta
South Jakarta is a city within Jakarta Special District, Indonesia. It had a population of 2,057,080 at the 2010 Census, and is the third most populous among the five cities of Jakarta, after East Jakarta and West Jakarta...

 branch, membership problems arose and made his nomination void. Eros was then not allowed to go and participate in the congress. Disillusioned with what he perceived to be a cult of personality
Cult of personality
A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Cults of personality are usually associated with dictatorships...

 developing around Megawati, Eros left PDI-P. In July 2002, he formed the Freedom Bull National Party. Although Dimyati's candidacy was not opposed as harshly as Eros, he was removed from his position as Head of PDI-P's Central Branch. He kept his position as a People's Representative Council
People's Representative Council
The People's Representative Council , sometimes referred to as the House of Representatives, is one of two elected national legislative assemblies in Indonesia....

 (DPR) member but retired in February 2002. In April 2002, Dimyati formed the Our Homeland of Indonesia Party (PITA).

Relationship with Wahid and rise to the Presidency

Megawati had an ambivalent relationship with Wahid. During the Cabinet reshuffle of August 2000 for example, Megawati was not present for the announcement of the new Cabinet line-up. At another occasion, when the political tide began to rise up against Wahid, Megawati defended her President and lashed out against critics of the Government. In 2001, Megawati began to distance herself from Wahid as a Special Session of the MPR approached and the prospects of her becoming President began to get better. Although she refused to make any specific comments, she showed signs of preparing herself to be President, such as holding a meeting with party leaders a day before the Special Session was due to start.

Presidency

On July 23, 2001, the People's Consultative Assembly assembled. Its members unanimously removed Wahid from office before appointing Megawati as President. She thus became the fourth woman to lead a Muslim nation (after Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto was a democratic socialist who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996....

 of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 and Khaleda Zia
Khaleda Zia
Begum Khaleda Zia is the former First Lady of Bangladesh , and then Prime Minister of Bangladesh, having served from 1991 to 1996, becoming the first woman in the country's history and second in the Muslim world to head a democratic government as prime minister. She served again from 2001 until...

 and Hasina Wajed of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

).

She ran for re-election in the 2004 presidential election, but was defeated by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono AC , is an Indonesian politician and retired Army general officer who has been President of Indonesia since 2004....

 in the second round, held on 20 September 2004. She famously refused to congratulate the new president in public.

Post-Presidency

On 11 September 2007 Megawati announced her 2009 reelection bid at a gathering of the PDI-P (Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle). Soetardjo Soerjoguritno confirmed her willingness to be nominated as her party's presidential candidate. However, she failed to win this election to the incumbent President Yudhoyono.

Family

Megawati's first husband, First Lieutenant Surendro Supjarso, was killed in a plane crash in Irian Jaya in 1970. In 1972, she married Hassan Gamal Ahmad Hassan, an Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian diplomat. The marriage was annulled shortly after. She married Taufiq Kiemas
Taufiq Kiemas
Taufiq Kiemas is the Speaker of Indonesia People's Consultative Assembly since 2009. He is the husband of Megawati Sukarnoputri, who was President of Indonesia from 2001 to 2004....

, her present husband, in 1973. They have three children, Mohammad Rizki Pramata, Mohammad Prananda and Puan Maharani, now in their 30s.

Etymology of "Megawati Sukarnoputri"

Sukarnoputri means "daughter of Sukarno" and it is not a family name: Javanese often do not have family names. She is simply referred to as 'Megawati' (or 'Mega') which is derived from Sanskrit meghavatī = "she who has a cloud", i.e. a raincloud, as it was raining when she was born. Biju Patnaik
Biju Patnaik
Biju Patnaik was an Indian politician. Also known as Biju Babu.Son of Lakshminarayan and Ashalata Patnaik, Bijayananda Patnaik was born in Cuttack, Orissa on March 5, 1916..-Role in Indonesian freedom struggle:Biju...

, an eminent Indian leader named her on the request of Sukarno.

External links



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