On The Jokowi Cabinet

05 August 2014

The Indonesian Channel with Wimar Witoelar on Today's Indonesia

August 4, 2014


TIC/Prisma: Wimar, the public is waiting for the cabinet lineup. What should be Jokowi's main consideration ? 

Wimar:  Well, he should place unmost importance on retaining the level of confidence that he has displayed throughout the elections but in a different form. He will not get the support he got from the citizen constituency. He will need party support without compromising. He will have to get along with  Parliament without horizon his position. So it's a tall order, his biggest challenge probably.

TIC/Prisma: Talking about his party support to the President-Elect, Jokowi promised also that he won't base his cabinet on his coalition parties.

Wimar: Jokowi is nothing if not innovative and courageous. Remember that he has been independent all his career and he should maintain that position. He will not have the party lineup that we have now. We will not have the permanent coalition that is in the process of disintegrating  hand we will not have the PDIP in a dominant position since the campaign was not run by the PDIP but by volunteers. So he will seek to confirm and strengthen support of the citizen movement and a new party alignment.

TIC/Prisma: But some people are assuming that there will be much pressure on Jokowi from Megawati and her coalition partners.

Wimar: Well, the coalition partners that he has now do not have any muscle. They are mainly supporting. Whereas Megawati has lost the power she once had by yielding the position of the party to the success team. Remember that the campaign was run not by the party but by the citizens movement.

TIC/Prisma: That has been proven. Earlier last week he opened an online poll to find names for the cabinet. Jokowi wants to know whom the people want in cabinet positions. Is this an effective way to form a cabinet?

Wimar: It is a good way to get to know the names. But  internet polling will not be the instrument of choice. Jokowi will base his choice on his own judgment and the advice of a few close associates.

TIC/Prisma: Several names have appeared such as Puan Maharani, Ridwan Kamil. Are they reliable candidates?

Wimar: I think names are quite premature at this stage. By the time October rolls around we expect to see new names. I would not rule out a whole set of new names by then.

TIC/Prisma: But as a citizen, who do you suggest for seats in the cabinet?

Wimar: Anyone who Jokowi trusts.

TIC/Prisma: Last question, Wimar. After taking office in October, what are the first steps Jokowi must take?

Wimar: He will have to take quick steps in areas which require the quickest change. Restoring security and order, initiatives in health and education, and restoring the rights of the indigeneous people to the forests.

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