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Jakarta Post

Jokowi announces end-of-year Cabinet reshuffle

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, December 22, 2020   /   05:30 pm
Jokowi announces end-of-year Cabinet reshuffle President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (center) announced six new ministers during a cabinet reshuffle at the Merdeka Palace on Dec. 22. They are to be sworn in on Wednesday, Dec. 23. (Presidential Palace/HO)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reshuffled on Wednesday the Indonesia Onward Cabinet, following up on his intent in late June to replace any ministers who did not get “a sense of crisis” in the COVID-19 pandemic response.

The refreshed Cabinet lineup, announced just three days before Christmas, would allow the Jokowi administration a fresh start as it embarks on its much-anticipated mass vaccination campaign next year.

Surabaya mayor Tri Rismaharini is set to replace Juliari Batubara as Social Affairs Minister, while deputy Defense Minister Wahyu Sakti Trenggono will be promoted to the Maritime and Fisheries Affairs Minister post replacing Edhy Prabowo.

Edhy and Juliari are currently in the custody of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), having been named by the antigraft body as suspects in separate bribery cases.

Gerindra party politician and former Jakarta deputy mayor Sandiaga Uno, meanwhile, will replace Wishnutama Kusubandio as Tourism and Creative Economy Minister.

Budi Gunadi Sadikin, who previously served as deputy State-Owned Enterprises Minister, had been given the task of Health Minister, replacing Terawan Agus Putranto, who had been widely blamed by the public for the state’s lackluster pandemic response.

Read also: Cabinet reshuffle imminent, Palace says

Terawan had been criticized by Jokowi in June following the Health Ministry’s sluggish pace of spending in the health sector amid the country’s struggle to contain the coronavirus. At that same meeting, the President warned that he would take “extraordinary steps”, including a Cabinet shakeup, if ministers failed to take the crisis seriously.

Jokowi ordered the return of Indonesian Ambassador to the United States, Muhammad Lutfi, to replace National Awakening Party politician Agus Suparmanto as Trade Minister.

In the meantime, the Religious Affairs Ministry will also see a leadership change after Jokowi announced he would replace retired military general Fachrul Razi with Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, who is chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama’s (NU) youth wing organization, GP Anshor, as well as the nephew of NU cleric Mustofa Bisri.

The inauguration of the new ministers would be held on Wednesday, Jokowi said at the Merdeka Palace on Tuesday.

Editor's note: Updated to correct affiliations.