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Yuliasri Perdani, Margareth S. Aritonang
Saturday, Oct 11, 2014

Asia

Fewer cabinet seats for parties

The Jakarta Post/ANN | Yuliasri Perdani, Margareth S. Aritonang | Saturday, Oct 11, 2014

President-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (second right) poses with leaders of three legislative bodies - (from left) Irman Gusman of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), Setya Novanto of the House of Representatives and Zulkifli Hasan of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) - during a joint press conference at the Hermitage Hotel in Jakarta on Friday. The four leaders promised to meet every month to discuss state affairs. Jokowi is famous for his expertise to win people's hearts with his personal approch.

President-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has reduced the number of ministries in his upcoming Cabinet from his initial plan for 34 to 33, allowing him to drop one ministerial post previously pledged for a political appointee.

After chairing a closed-door meeting with vice president-elect Jusuf Kalla and his transition team on Friday, Jokowi announced that his Cabinet will have 33 ministers, four of whom will be coordinating ministers.

"There is one ministry that will be eliminated, as [its function] can be combined with another ministry," Jokowi told a press conference at his official residence in Menteng, Central Jakarta, without revealing more details.

Under his new plan, Jokowi would have 18 ministerial posts allocated to professionals and would cut back to 15 the number of seats given to political appointees.

Jokowi was quick to add, however, that the current Cabinet structure could still be subject to further adjustments.

"We need to evaluate further whether with the current structure each directorate general [within the ministries] could perform well," Jokowi said.

As for the political appointees, all candidates would come from politicians in the coalition led by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

"Automatically, those seats will be for parties that join forces with us. We [however] will see how the situation progresses until Oct. 20," Kalla said, referring to the inauguration day of the president- and vice president-elect.

Jokowi has reportedly offered at least one ministerial post to the United Development Party (PPP), a member of the Red-and-White Coalition led by the loser of the July 9 presidential election, Prabowo Subianto, which jumped ship during the nomination process for the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) chairmanship.

PPP, one of the first political parties to join the Red-and-White Coalition, was left in the cold by the Gerindra-led coalition in the nomination process for the MPR chairmanship. The party had earlier failed to get a seat among the leadership of the House of Representatives (DPR).

Jokowi wants fewer political appointees Cabinet will only have 33 ministers Jokowi now scrutinizing two to five candidates for each post PPP deputy chairman Hasrul Azwar said that the party would soon convene an internal meeting to decide on the offer.

"The offer shows that Jokowi, as a president-elect, respects his working partners. The PPP really appreciate the offer," Hasrul told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

A source within the Hanura Party, one of the political parties in Jokowi's coalition, confirmed that it had proposed four of its politicians to fill positions in the upcoming Cabinet. The candidates are Iqbal Alan Abdullah, Yuddy Chrisnandi, Susaningtyas Kertopati and Saleh Husin.

Hanura has been offered two ministerial posts.

"We have been offered two posts at two unspecified ministries," the source told the Post.

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