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Jakarta Post

We're disappointed Gerindra will be represented in Cabinet: Jokowi supporters

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, October 21, 2019   /   04:07 pm
We're disappointed Gerindra will be represented in Cabinet: Jokowi supporters Gerindra Party patron Prabowo Subianto (left) and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo take a wefie at the palace in Jakarta. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has confirmed that the Gerindra Party will be represented in the upcoming Cabinet, the Jokowi Mania volunteer group has claimed.

Volunteer group chairman Immanuel Ebenezer said after meeting with the President on Sunday night that Jokowi told the volunteers that Gerindra would be represented.

Immanuel said Jokowi claimed that other opposition parties wanted to jump ship to the ruling coalition, but the President had asserted that he would accept only Gerindra, saying he needed the other parties to remain part of the opposition so that there would be checks and balances.

"What is clear is that there is no party other than Gerindra. But yes, almost all [opposition] parties want to join. The President said that he couldn’t [accept them],” he said.

"We're actually a little disappointed because people like me in particular will have to face [the supporters] on the ground," he said.

"But this is the President's choice. We won't wallow in disappointment because, whatever the President does, he has his own considerations, political considerations as well as considerations to unite this nation in the future.”

Gerindra, whose deputy chairman Edhy Prabowo is in the running for a ministerial seat should Jokowi decide to include the party in the Cabinet, is still waiting for Jokowi to officially announce the news.

However, Gerindra deputy chairman Arief Poyuono told The Jakarta Post on Monday that Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto, who ran against Jokowi in the 2019 presidential election, would meet with the President at the palace at 4 p.m. on Monday, or on the day the President announced his second-term Cabinet.

Edhy on Sunday night said that Jokowi had yet to call him personally, but he was ready for it. 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 House Commission IV [on agriculture] for the last five years," Edhy said, adding that he was ready if given the opportunity.

Besides Edhy, Prabowo has been tipped as the next defense minister, since he has on various occasions spoken about national security and defense issues, such as the conflict in Papua.

Jokowi's party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), executive Andreas Hugo Pareira said it was understandable if Prabowo was eyeing the position. "It's his field after all," he said.

Arief, however, did not confirm the purpose of Prabowo’s meeting with Jokowi, whether it was to be “introduced” by the President as a ministerial candidate or to discuss his party being represented in the Cabinet.

Up until Monday noon, several high-profile figures tipped to fill ministerial positions had attended closed-door meetings with the President at the State Palace.

Among the summoned figures were former Constitutional Court chief justice Mahfud MD, app-based transportation Gojek founder Nadiem Makarim and Christiany Eugenia Paruntu, the regent of South Minahasa in North Sulawesi, media tycoon Erick Thohir and television veteran Wishnutama. All of them wore white shirts and black trousers, just like the attire worn by Jokowi’s Cabinet members during the 2014 inauguration.

Some of them confirmed that Jokowi had offered them positions in the new Cabinet, but they did not clarify what positions they would hold.

The secretary-general of one of the parties in Jokowi’s coalition, the NasDem Party, Johny G. Plate, said on Monday that the party would welcome Gerindra if Jokowi decided to include it in the coalition.

"We’ll let the President decide. We respect the President's prerogative," Johny said.

Johny said the composition of parties represented in the Cabinet remained uncertain, with some claiming that the PDI-P would be given six posts, the Golkar Party, the National Awakening Party (PKB) and NasDem three each and the United Development Party (PPP) one.

Others claim that the PDI-P would get five spots, Golkar, the PKB and NasDem three each and the PPP one, plus an opposition party would get one if Jokowi decided to include it.