President Joko Widodo and First Lady Iriana arriving at the three-year commemoration of the passing of Taufiq Kiemas in Jakarta, Wednesday evening (08/06). In this occasion, the president suddenly mentioned the second cabinet reshuffle issue. (State Palace Press Photo/Laily)

Jokowi Walks Straight Line Ahead of Cabinet Reshuffle: Pundit


JUNE 10, 2016

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is unlikely to pull out any surprises in the next cabinet reshuffle, Arya Fernandes, a researcher from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, predicted.

The president is currently in a difficult position, making a reshuffle unlikely, as it would force the president to choose a political "side," Arya said.

"Jokowi is in two circumstances for this cabinet reshuffle. First, he has to accommodate two political parties, Golkar and PAN [the National Mandate Party], while he also has to improve the cabinet's performance to achieve his goals," Arya said in Jakarta on Friday (10/06).

Both Golkar and PAN switched allegiances from the opposition Red and White Coalition to the government following an initial reshuffle in August.

Jokowi is likely to replace ministers with middling performances to date with Golkar or PAN members. Although the president must be able to ensure the background, track record and any possible legal issues with potential candidates, Arya noted.

"Meanwhile, those Jokowi will replace should be based on objective assessment of the performance," Arya said, adding that replaced ministers should be given compensation such as becoming directors or commissioners at state-owned companies, or ambassadors.

Arya conceded a cabinet reshuffle would be more difficult, with accommodations to new coalition party members likely to upset parties who stand to lose underperforming ministers.

Talk of the long-rumoured reshuffle was sparked following statements from the president made during the commemoration of the death of Taufiq Kiemas, the late husband of Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri, earlier this week. He did not elaborate on a timeline or possible candidates.