Indonesian president to announce cabinet reshuffle

Analysts say the trade minister could be among those replaced after coming under political pressure



By Reuters

Published: Wed 15 Jun 2022, 8:52 AM

Indonesian President Joko Widodo will announce a cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, a politician from the ruling coalition told Reuters.

Bima Arya Sugiarto, a member of the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the mayor of Bogor city, said two ministers were expected to be replaced and that the announcement would take place after parties met with the president on Wednesday afternoon.

“Parties are scheduled to have lunch with the president, after that, the new ministers will be inaugurated,” Bima said via a WhatsApp message.

Another coalition party member, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue, also confirmed the reshuffle would take place on Wednesday and that two new ministers and three new vice ministers would be appointed.

Speculation of a ministerial shake-up has grown in recent days, particularly after several ministers were summoned to the presidential palace on Tuesday.

Reporters gathered at the presidential palace in central Jakarta on Wednesday for the expected announcement.

Among ministers summoned to the palace on Tuesday were Coordinating Economics Minister Airlangga Hartarto, Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi, and Agrarian and Spatial Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil.

PAN chairman, Zulkifli Hasan, and former military chief, Hadi Tjahjanto, were among non-cabinet members who also met with the president.

Analysts say the trade minister could be among those replaced after coming under political pressure over the handling of policy efforts to contain a surge in domestic cooking oil.

Minister Lutfi had blamed a “palm oil mafia” for undermining efforts to contain cooking oil prices after bringing in a surprise ban on palm oil exports in April.

ALSO READ:

The export ban, since lifted, caused shockwaves on global markets and led to a series of arrests for alleged corruption after the attorney general launched an investigation. The president may also look to appoint a member from PAN, which joined the ruling coalition last year, political observers say.

A poll conducted by Charta Politika, which was released on Monday and interviewed 1,200 people from May 25-June 2, showed that 63.1% of respondents supported a proposal to reshuffle the current cabinet.


More news from Asia