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Prabowo-Gibran coalition begins cabinet planning with involvement of Jokowi

The Prabowo-Gibran coalition engages Jokowi in crafting the economic cabinet, sparking debates over continuity and independence in Indonesia’s governance transition.



INDONESIA – As the votes from the recent presidential election in Indonesia are yet to be fully tallied, the coalition of presidential and vice-presidential candidates, Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming Raka, listed as number 2 on the ballot, has already commenced designing the economic cabinet with the participation of incumbent President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

This move signifies a proactive approach to governance transition, although the official results are pending.

Dradjad Wibowo, a member of the Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka National Campaign Team’s Advisory Board, on Thursday (22 Feb), revealed that the process involves President Jokowi due to his transitional role and leadership within the coalition.

He stressed that the composition of the economic cabinet is critical, given the anticipated challenging domestic and international scenarios.

The selection criteria for the economic cabinet members will primarily prioritize merit, according to Dradjad. This approach emphasizes competence, capability, capacity, integrity, achievements, and track records in their respective fields.

Dradjad emphasized that the involvement of President Jokowi in crafting the economic cabinet stems from the need for individuals with competence and strategic thinking skills to formulate economic policies.

He added that the cabinet formation process will be merit-based, although considerations regarding the proportion of members from political parties and non-political entities will be made.

Furthermore, Dradjad highlighted that President Jokowi’s role extends beyond the transition period, reflecting the continuity aspect emphasized by the Prabowo-Gibran coalition.

He underscored the importance of building upon Jokowi’s achievements, including the Maritime Axis (IKN) and downstream industrialization initiatives.

Apart from President Jokowi, Dradjad mentioned that all chairpersons of supporting political parties. Their involvement underscores the coalition’s commitment to inclusivity and broad-based decision-making.

However, not all voices support the extensive involvement of President Jokowi in the cabinet formation process. Political analyst Ikrar Nusa Bhakti expressed concerns regarding the potential implications of Jokowi’s involvement. He cautioned that such involvement could blur the distinction between a Prabowo-Gibran government and a continuation of the Jokowi administration.

Ikrar emphasized the need to limit Jokowi’s role in cabinet formation to avoid confusion among the public.

He argued that allowing Jokowi significant influence could raise questions about the nature of the incoming government and its independence from past administrations.

Ikrar asserted that the forthcoming government marks a departure from the Jokowi era, and thus, Jokowi’s contributions to the Prabowo-Gibran victory should not automatically grant him a substantial role in cabinet formation.

He warned against potential perceptions of a Jokowi-led continuation, which could undermine the legitimacy of the new administration.

In response to these concerns, Ikrar urged Prabowo to maintain independence in decision-making, particularly regarding the cabinet’s composition.

He stressed the importance of delineating the Prabowo-led cabinet from previous administrations, reiterating that any perceived overlap could challenge the legitimacy and credibility of the new government.

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