former presidents on Thursday joined President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo
in celebrating Indonesia’s
Independence Day at the State Palace.
The country's third
president Baharuddin Jusuf Habibie, fifth president Megawati Soekarnoputri and
her successor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono accompanied
Jokowi for the Palace’s flag-hoisting ceremony to mark the country's 72 an anniversary.
The three former
leaders, who wore traditional attire from across the country, also joined him
Also present at the
celebration were Vice President Jusuf Kalla, former
vice president Boediono and wife of the country's fourth president, Sinta
Nuriyah Abdurrahman "Gus Dur' Wahid. Gus Dur passed away in December 2009.
It was the first time
Yudhoyono joined the celebration at the State Palace
after leaving office in 2014. He chose to celebrate Independence Day at his
home town of Pacitan, East Java, in the past two years.
skipped the event during Yudhoyono’s 10-year tenure and only made an appearance
at the Palace after Jokowi — who is a member of the
Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), of which she is chairwoman —
was elected president in 2014.
Speaking after the
ceremony, Yudhoyono told reporters: "I hope Indonesia will stay united and
that we can develop this nation together. God willing
in 2045, this country could become strong, prosperous and just.”
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