The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was officially inaugurated for his second term in office on Sunday and is expected to introduce members of his new Cabinet on Monday.
“The structure [of the Cabinet] is ready. I will introduce its members tomorrow [Monday] morning,” Jokowi told journalists at the State Palace shortly before departing for his inauguration ceremony.
He explained that the announcement would be made before Vice Vice President Ma’ruf Amin departed for Japan in the afternoon to attend Japanese Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement.
He added that the new ministers would be sworn in soon but did not elaborate on whether they would be sworn in on Monday or after Ma’ruf has returned to Jakarta.
In the days leading up to his inauguration, Jokowi reportedly held meetings with leaders of his coalition parties to talk about the new Cabinet’s formation.
He has also engaged with leaders of erstwhile opposition parties, including Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto and Democratic Party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to discuss a possible merger in the upcoming Cabinet.
A number of electronic documents purportedly showing the new Cabinet lineup have been circulating online, although none have been confirmed by the State Palace.
Jokowi himself has taken to his Instagram account to comment on the “leaks” and called on the public to be patient for the official announcement.
When asked on Sunday about whether the 16 seats in the Cabinet would be given to members of political parties, Jokowi said, “More or less. I haven’t counted them.”
The President added that several ministers who served during his first term in office might make a comeback, but added that there would be more new faces than old ones.
However, the government coalition said on Sunday that it still expected the Cabinet to be announced by Wednesday, anticipating a change in the lineup following Jokowi’s recent meetings with opposition parties.
Jokowi's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which has claimed to have obtained ministerial seats for several figures from various backgrounds, said it was possible for the lineup to change at "the last minute".
"That's why we [coalition members] joked earlier during the inauguration that we should not turn off our cellphones tonight. We should be ready for the President's call," Hendrawan said on Sunday.
A member of the NasDem party, which is part of Jokowi’s coalition, told The Jakarta Post that the Cabinet’s lineup had yet to be finalized.
The party’s secretary-general, Johny G Plate, said the Cabinet’s composition would comprise 55 percent non-political professionals and 45 percent politicians, in line with a statement made earlier by Jokowi.
However, the composition of the parties' seats in the Cabinet remains uncertain, with one scenario allocating six seats for the PDI-P, three seats each for the Golkar Party, the National Awakening Party (PKB) and NasDem, and one for the United Development Party (PPP). Another scenario sees the PDI-P securing five seats, Golkar, the PKB and NasDem each receiving three and one seat each for the PPP and the opposition.
The latter, Johny hinted, would likely be the composition if opposition parties ended up joining the government coalition.
PDI-P executive Ahmad Basarah said it was possible that Jokowi would need more time to announce the Cabinet.
"He will use the time, the remaining 14 days that he has after the inauguration," he said.
Gerindra, whose deputy chairman Edhy Prabowo is in the running for a ministerial seat should Jokowi decide to include the party in the Cabinet, said the party was still waiting for a call from the President.
Edhy conceded that Jokowi had yet to call him personally, but he was ready for it to happen. Presidential expert staff member Ali Mochtar Ngabalin previously suggested that Edhy was a potential candidate for the agriculture minister post.
"I have been in the House of Representatives for three periods and I have led the House Commission IV [overseeing agriculture] in the last five years," Edhy said, adding that he was ready if he was given the opportunity. (kuk)