Jakarta. The National Mandate Party (PAN) and Golkar Party may be rewarded with ministerial posts in the next cabinet reshuffle, in exchange for officially supporting President Joko Widodo's administration, a political expert predicts.
Golkar became the latest to announce support for Joko's administration during the party's national meeting recently. The country's oldest political party joined other members of the opposing Red-White Coalition, who became part of the government last September, including Djan Farid's faction of the United Development Party (PPP).
“Politically, it will be a logical consequence to accommodate members of the three parties [by appointing some ministers] in order to strengthen the cabinet,” Siti Zuhro, a political expert at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), said on Monday (1/2).
Joko has rewarded PAN by appointing its senior politician Sutrisno Bachir as chairman of the National Economics and Industry Committee, or KEIN, last month.
Siti (of LIPI) said it was possible that the president would appoint a Golkar politician as minister in the next cabinet reshuffle.
However, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) insisted on staying in the opposing camp with Prabowo Subianto's Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), while the Democratic Party has opted to remain outside government.
“The PKS is still istiqomah [strong-willed] to remain outside the government. It doesn't mean we are in opposition, but we only ensure that there are checks and balances,” senior PKS politician Hidayat Nur Wahid said.
Democratic Party secretary general Hinca Panjaitan said his party was still not interested in joining the ruling coalition after leading the country for 10 years during Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's era.
“We have 10 years experience in ruling the country. Like riding a bus, if it is safe, we will be supportive. But if it is dangerous, we will be critical,” Hinca said.