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Jakarta Post

State secretary plays down reshuffle talk, claims ministers have improved

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, July 6, 2020   /   04:14 pm
State secretary plays down reshuffle talk, claims ministers have improved President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo (center), accompanied by State Secretary Pratikno (left) and Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi (right), give, a press statement on the UN Security Council at the Bogor Palace, West Java, on June 12, 2018. (Antara/Widodo S Jusuf)

State Secretary Pratikno has downplayed the possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle, saying that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's recent fiery rebuke of his ministers had achieved the required results.

"The Cabinet responded to the warning quickly,” Pratikno said on Monday. “If there’s good progress, why should there be a reshuffle?”

In a video of a closed-door Cabinet meeting on June 18 released by the President's press office, Jokowi delivered an uncharacteristically angry speech, saying that he would consider taking “extraordinary steps”, including a Cabinet reshuffle, if his ministers did not effectively deal with the pandemic and its economic impact.

The President particularly cited the lack of spending in the health sector and called on all ministries to cut through red tape and accelerate their spending in order to stimulate the economy.

Pratikno said the ministries had responded to Jokowi's warning quickly, which could be seen from the increased budget disbursement and the progress of several government programs.   

"Now [the situation has] improved and hopefully it will continue to improve. If so, a reshuffle will be unnecessary,” he said. “So, don't make a fuss about a reshuffle anymore because the Cabinet is working well. We should focus on public health problems and economic problems as a result of the pandemic."

This is not the first time Jokowi has used the threat of a reshuffle to spur his Cabinet into action. In February, during a private meeting with social media celebrities and influencers, the President said that he would replace Cabinet ministers who failed to adapt and deliver results.