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Indonesia's president-elect presents transition team

Publication Date : 05-08-2014


Indonesian President-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has officially introduced a transition team, the first in Indonesian history, to prepare the next government. The team will also help manage the transfer of power from outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to Jokowi after his swearing-in ceremony on Oct. 20.

Led by former president director of the giant PT Astra International and minister of trade Rini Mariani Soemarno Soewandi, Jokowi assigned the “bridging team”, which is composed of a combination of experts and politicians tasked with devising programs to be implemented by Jokowi and his deputy Jusuf Kalla during their five-year term in office.

“Its duty is to prepare strategic affairs related to 2015 planning. This is related to the government of Pak SBY,” the Jakarta governor said, referring to Yudhoyono.

 “The team will be officially active from today [Monday],” Jokowi told the media during the launch of its office, which is located in an old, predominantly white building on Jl. Situbondo, Menteng, Central Jakarta.

In an effort to enable the new administration to effectively work from the first day in office, Jokowi explained that the team had a number of core tasks: organizing strategies related to the 2015 state budget; designing the Cabinet; drawing up policies based on the vision and mission that Jokowi and Kalla introduced during their presidential campaign.

The team is also assigned to arrange plans to accelerate the implementation of programs that are attainable in a short time, such as the Indonesia Pintar (Indonesia Smart) and Indonesia Sehat (Indonesia Healthy) programs.

 The Indonesia Pintar program, which aims to increase education levels through free 12-year compulsory education, and Indonesia Sehat, which aims to provide free medical checkups and treatment, were inspired by similar programs conducted by the Jakarta administration; thus Jokowi is confident that both programs can be implemented nationally and quickly under his leadership.

Jokowi also said although the team’s members would play important roles in preparing his new government, there was no guarantee that they would be invited to join his Cabinet.

“People who are at this office will not automatically be in the Cabinet,” said Jokowi.

In running the office, Rini Soewandi will work with four deputies – Paramadina University rector Anis Baswedan, defense expert Andi Widjajanto, politician Akbar Faisal from the NasDem Party and Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) deputy secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto. Anis, Andi and Hasto closely assisted Jokowi and Kalla during the presidential election campaign.

Rini served as the president director of PT Astra International from 1998 to 2000. Her close friend Megawati Soekarnoputri, who is the chairwoman of the PDI-P, recruited Rini as her minister of trade during her 2001-2004 tenure as the country’s fifth president.

According to Rini, apart from the core team, a number of individuals would be in charge of specific working groups. Declining to reveal their identities, Rini said they were selected based on their expertise to examine problems and challenges in various strategic issues.

The 56-year-old Rini added that her team would also provide input regarding capable candidates to take up ministerial posts in the Cabinet, although the final choice would be Jokowi’s as the president.

“In addition to our role as a working team, which is responsible for preparing programs, we, at the same time, will also be involved in listing the names of candidates who have the potential and talent to run the programs,” said Rini.

 “We’ll only assist him [Jokowi] in choosing the right man or woman for the right position,” she said, adding that her team would immediately arrange meetings with representatives of the current government to further discuss transferable programs.


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