The rumour on second phase cabinet reshuffle heats up again. President Joko Widodo, however, was reluctant to respond to the rumour. The cabinet shake-up is unlikely to occur this week.
After having a dialogue with a number of economic editors to discuss tax amnesty implementation and food prices at the State Palace, Jakarta, Thursday (14/7), President was reluctant to comment on reshuffle issue. He also hinted that he focused on ensuring the success of tax amnesty policy.
“It’s about tax amnesty now,” said Widodo after silenced for a moment when being asked on the rumour on cabinet overhaul in the near future.
To ensure the success of tax amnesty policy, the President will conduct outreach activities in several cities in Indonesia. The President plans to visit Surabaya, on Friday.
“I will talk (about tax amnesty) to 2,000 business owners there,” he said. The President considered now is the right moment to implement the policy because the political condition is conducive and political parties have expressed their support.
Based on the information obtained by Katadata, cabinet overhaul is unlikely to occur this week. Despite the fact that the President has been finalising the plan in the last few days.
The indication is also supported by the fact that there was no announcement on cabinet reshuffle during the inauguration of Police Chief General Tito Karnavian in the State Palace, Wednesday (13/7).
“I told you that there will be no reshuffle. Not today,” said Minister of State Secretary Pratikno, after the inauguration.
Nevertheless, it’s still possible that there will be a cabinet reshuffle in the near future. Pratikno said that Widodo usually did not plan the exact time for a cabinet reshuffle.But he assured that Widodo has been thinking about the plan for quite some time, including evaluating the performance of his ministers.
Previously, other Katadata‘s source said that the President will soon shake-up the cabinet. A number of ministerial posts will be replaced to accommodate the Golkar Party and the National Mandate Party that has shifted their position and became government’s supporters.
One of the strongest candidates to represent Golkar in the cabinet is Siswono Yudo Husodo. “Siswono will be admitted to the cabinet,” said the source, Monday (11/7). The party’s senior politician who was former Minister of Transmigration and Minister of Public Housing under Soeharto has met Widodo recently.
He is likely to replace Rizal Ramli as Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs. “If Rizal is sacked or transferred to Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs,” added the source.
Rumour also has it that the President is considering a number of options regarding the new economic team. Based on the information obtained by Katadata, the President will overhaul three economic ministers: Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution, Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro and Minister of National Development Planning/Head of Bappenas Sofyan Djalil.
The first option is to replace Bambang with Darmin while maintaining the latter’s position as Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs. This means that Darmin will hold two ministerial positions.
Bambang will be appointed as Minister of National Development Planning, while Sofyan will replace Rini Soemarno as Minister of State-owned Enterprises.
The second option is to shift Darmin to the post of Finance Minister and appoint Rizal Ramli to replace his position.
According to Katadata’s source, the President has met with Darmin to discuss the option. “There has been a meeting but there was no decision yet.”
Darmin was reluctant to comment on the rumour. So is Bambang who refuse to take the rumour seriously. "Yes, we can move anywhere,” he said, Tuesday (12/7).