Idrus Marham is sworn in as Social Affairs Minister in January. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)

Jokowi Moves Closer to Golkar in Latest Cabinet Reshuffle


JANUARY 18, 2018

Jakarta. Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's decision to reshuffle his cabinet on Wednesday (17/01), picking among others Golkar secretary general Idrus Marham as his new social affairs minister, has been seen as a clever political move by analysts.

Idrus, 55, replaced outgoing minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa, who will run in the East Java gubernatorial election this year, a statement from the presidential press bureau said.

Golkar, the second largest political party in the country, now has two men in the cabinet since its newly appointed chairman Airlangga Hartarto has retained his position as industry minister.

Djayadi Hanan, a political analyst from Paramadina University in Jakarta, said by taking on Idrus as a minister, both Jokowi and Golkar will benefit politically.

"Jokowi can now be assured of a solid [political] support from Golkar... whereas Golkar will now have better access to power. This will help the party consolidate before the 2018 and 2019 elections," Djayadi told the Jakarta Globe.

He said what Jokowi wants most of all is political stability, and he might be able to get that with solid political support from Golkar, which will also strengthen support for his government.

Djayadi warned, though, that Jokowi has to avoid the perception that he is playing favorites with Golkar politicians in his cabinet since they have not been forced to give up their positions in the party, as other cabinet members have.

Djayadi pointed out that Airlangga might lose his focus as a minister since he is now also the chairman of Golkar.

"Airlangga and the industry ministry need to help Jokowi finish off his economic programs first. They only have one and a half year left," he said.

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Jokowi has also installed Air Vice Marshal Yuyu Sutisna as a new Air Force commander, replacing Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto who is now the Indonesian military commander.

The president also appointed two ex-generals to his cabinet, Agum Gumelar as a new member of his advisory board and Moeldoko as his new chief of staff replacing Teten Masduki.