IDNAround – Ganjar Pranowo has been perceived as a potential contender for the 2024 presidential election for years but the Central Java governor said he was astonished the moment Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri made his candidacy official last Friday.
“I was really stunned. Who am I? Where am I from to get such a mandate?” Ganjar said in an exclusive interview with Jakarta-based news broadcaster BTV aired on Monday evening.
“This is not an easy mandate to carry out. If I was asked to say something on that day, I would have been speechless.”
The announcement was made at Batu Tulis Palace in Bogor, West Java on the last day of Ramadan in the presence of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and House of Representatives Speaker Puan Maharani, both are PDI-P executives.
“They represent the elite of the party and the republic and from there I realize that this mandate is very serious,” Ganjar told BTV’s Fristian Griec.
The two-term governor pledged to continue with development programs and policies initiated by the current government and the PDI-P.
Ganjar said he has spent his entire political career with the PDI-P, which he joined in 1992 when he was a student.
“I know this party from the bottom,” he said.
Ganjar became a lawmaker in 2004 to fill a seat vacated by a fellow PDI-P man who was assigned as the ambassador to South Korea.
Despite his academic background as a graduate of Gadjah Mada University’s School of Law, Megawati put Ganjar on the House of Representatives committee overseeing agriculture, forestry, and fisheries in his early career as a lawmaker.
“This is a blessing in disguise because I learned a lot about our farmers, fishermen, forestry industry, and environment,” the 54-year-old said.