The Jakarta Post
President-elect Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo said on Wednesday that ministerial seats in his upcoming Cabinet were open to anyone, including members of political parties outside his coalition.
The Jakarta Governor emphasized that the most important consideration for ministerial candidates was professionalism and competence, not the parties they were affiliated with.
He added that he had yet to discuss any specific names for the Cabinet line-up and would not start that discussion until September.
'We will not discuss it until mid-September. For now, we will talk about the tasks and policies of the ministries first,' he said at his transition team office in Menteng, Central Jakarta.
Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) executive Tjahjo Kumolo had previously said that Jokowi would not appoint politicians to his Cabinet so that party-political considerations would not hinder government programs.
Jokowi and his running mate Jusuf Kalla won the July 9 presidential election, securing 53.15 percent of about 133 million votes cast.
Although Jokowi had been a constant front-runner in public opinion polls months before the election, the presidential ticket was only endorsed by four political parties, the PDI-P, the coalition leader; the NasDem Party; the National Awakening Party (PKB); and the Hanura Party.
Jokowi said he had rejected other political parties as he did not want to get involved in transactional politics, such as promising Cabinet posts to his allies.
Andi Widjajanto, a member of the transition team, said that it had formed 13 working units to plan the structure and programs of the Jokowi administration.
One of the 13 units is tasked with designing the Cabinet and reports only to Jokowi and Kalla.
Andi underlined that the Cabinet structuring unit would not talk about specific ministerial candidates, but merely formulate the most effective structure for the Cabinet to support the president and vice president.
'The working units' jobs are to discuss technical details not political aspects. The authority to select ministers is the prerogative of Jokowi and Kalla,' he said.
Andi added that the transition team would not disclose the names of working unit members to the public before they submitted the results of their work to Jokowi and Kalla.
He said there was also the possibility of Cabinet downsizing in the next government.
A number of political parties have suggested that Jokowi should consider forming a smaller Cabinet for a more effective government.
The current United Indonesia Cabinet II under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has 34 ministers, some of whom have deputies.
Andi said that the Cabinet structure working group had begun its task and was scheduled to submit their results to Jokowi and Kalla on Sept. 15.
According to Andi, executives from a number of parties have visited the transition team to contribute their ideas to the working groups.
Andi added that Puan Maharani, PDI-P faction leader at the House of Representatives, had also met with the transition team leader Rini Mariani Soemarno Soewandi to consolidate coordination with the PDI-P faction in the House.
'Puan came for an update on the progress of the working groups and to ask what PDI-P lawmakers could do to help them,' Andi said. (idb)
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