President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo appointed former Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Wiranto as coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister in his second Cabinet shake-up on Wednesday, replacing Luhut Pandjaitan, who was moved to become coordinating maritime affairs minister.
Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said President Jokowi had entrusted the post to Wiranto because the latter had been well-tested and was experienced in resolving various assignments, especially during the transition period from the New Order to the Reform era in the late 1990s.
"[During that time] he served as a defence and security minister and was the TNI commander that oversaw the Indonesian government transition process. He also once served as coordinating political and security minister," Pramono said at the State Palace on Wednesday.
Wiranto’s appointment is likely to draw concerns as the United Nations and several human rights groups have gathered evidence that the retired military general played a key role in facilitating severe human rights violations by the TNI during Indonesia's withdrawal from occupied East Timor in 1999.
More than 2,000 East Timorese were killed in violence under his watch, and 500,000 were forced into displacement. Wiranto continues to deny the charges.
Wiranto was one of 12 new ministers appointed in the second Cabinet reshuffle since Jokowi took office.
In his remarks on Wednesday, Jokowi said he wanted the new Cabinet to work more solidly and in a more unified way than the previous one.
“The spirit of the Working Cabinet reshuffle is to strengthen the government’s work performance, in which all Cabinet members can work in a team that is solid and unified,” said Jokowi in a press conference after the announcement of the Cabinet reshuffle at the State Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday. (ebf)