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More clamouring for ministerial positions in Indonesia

Publication Date : 07-08-2014


Indonesian President-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is facing increased pressure from groups and individuals, especially from his volunteer groups, who openly make demands for their inclusion in the next administration.

In addition to politicians from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P)-led coalition, people claiming to have been volunteers for his presidential campaign are also requesting ministerial posts in his Cabinet.

A lecturer from the Perbanas School of Economics, Abdul Rani Rasyid, who claims to have run one group of volunteers, the Ikatan Pemilih Indonesia (Association of Indonesian Voters) is one of the people who submitted his resumé to Jokowi’s transition team on Wednesday, applying for a ministerial position specialising on the economy.

“This is my own initiative. I am confident about applying because I think I have the expertise, and also because I helped him [Jokowi] win the election,” Abdul said after handing his resumé to representatives of the transition team at its headquarters on Jl. Situbondo, Central Jakarta.

Another applicant, who identified herself as Ratna, a member of the Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI), claimed to have secured the support of around 500,000 fellow volunteers to apply for a ministerial position on social welfare.

“I am representing myself, not the PKPI,” Ratna said shortly after submitting her resume.

In an attempt to obtain input about well-qualified candidates for members of his Cabinet, Jokowi has established a head-hunting team specifically tasked with identifying and assessing potential candidates for ministerial positions, as well as a transition team, which is helping to design the structure of Jokowi’s cabinet but is primarily focusing on preparing the programs for implementation when Jokowi and his running mate, Jusuf Kalla, assume office.

Jokowi has been trying to deflect pressure from the political parties in his coalition.

One of the ways in which he has sought to do this has been in remaining tight-lipped about the personnel on his head-hunting team and the team’s agenda.

In contrast, however, he has been very open about his transition team.

Jokowi introduced on Monday the leaders of the transition team, comprising a chief of staff, former trade minister Rini Mariani Soemarno Soewandi, and her four deputies — Paramadina University rector Anis Baswedan, defence analyst Andi Widjajanto, NasDem Party politician Akbar Faizal and Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) deputy secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto.

Hasto said on Wednesday that the team had nothing to say regarding the candidates for ministerial positions.

He added that applicants for ministerial posts should submit their documents to the Jokowi Center on Jl. Cemara in Menteng, Central Jakarta.

“A large number of individuals has come to us to apply for positions in the Cabinet. This is why we set up the headquarters at Cemara,” Hasto said.

He reiterated the fact that the transition team would only be focusing on general issues, such as the state budget, the Indonesia Pintar (Smart Indonesia) and Indonesia Sehat (Healthy Indonesia) programs, bureaucratic reform, public housing, energy, infrastructure and public transportation.

Separately, Jokowi said that he would be holding a meeting to discuss issues surrounding the establishment of the transition team, adding that he would seek to engage politicians from his coalition who felt left out.

“I will definitely reach out to every party – volunteers, the public and everyone,” Jokowi said.

He said he would welcome all initiatives, including those from the general public via the website, which was set up to assess candidates for ministerial positions.

“I will consider all input, from volunteers to civil society. It’s not about whether the Cabinet will be large or small; the most important thing is that the Cabinet should work effectively in implementing the policies and programs that we design,” he said.


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