10/27/2014, 00.00
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Jakarta: Jokowi government includes a woman and a Catholic, "attentive to ministers moral record"

by Mathias Hariyadi
In choosing his collaborators the head of state has paid attention to moral integrity and professionalism. Praise for the choice of two technocrats in key positions of the economy. Resentment of the presence of (too many) elements close to the former President Sukarnoputri. Country gives Joko Widodo “conditional support" and expects tangible results in education, health and infrastructure.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - After days of uncertainty and lots of speculation on the composition of the new government, the new president of Indonesia Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has released his cabinet  list, giving rise to conflicting reactions.

On the one hand, his line-up represents a break from the recent past with the appointment of a woman (the first) to the Foreign Ministry and a Catholic Minister for Transport; positive opinions also for the choice of two technocrats in key positions in the economy, to start a reform program.

On the other hand, according to critics the influence of the former head of state Megawati Sukarnoputri is all too clear.  She is seen as the "matriarch" and the mistress of the Party - Indonesian Democratic Party Struggle (PDIP) - which supported the political ascent former governor of Jakarta.  

Late yesterday afternoon, from his office at the State Palace, President Jokowi presented the government team, composed mostly of people who have distinguished themselves in their work and throughout their professional career. Among these Pujiastuti Susi, founder and CEO of Susi Air, the company of ultralight aircraft that operates in remote areas of Indonesia. She is entrusted with the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs.

Surprisingly, the president wanted to - for the first time - entrust even the delicate Foreign Ministry to a woman, which will be the career diplomat Retno Marsudi, until now ambassador to the Netherlands. The new team of the Indonesian government, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, includes eight women out of 34 seats; at least 18 technocrats, and the other roles have been assigned within the party. A choice, the latter, which has raised more than a note of concern among those who favor Jokowi and who asked him to avoid "political appointments".

Widodo has the support and affection of the vast majority of the Indonesian people. However, analysts and local political experts warn that this support is conditional", in the absence of concrete results in the areas of education, health and infrastructure, it may soon vanish. And the choice of a "compromise" executive has already provoked the first grumblings of discontent.

The ministers of the new government include a Catholic, Ignatius Jonan, the current director of the State Railways, to whom Jokowi has entrusted the Ministry of Transport. Health has gone to another woman, Nina Anfasa Moeloek, already slated for said minister five years ago in Yudhoyono's second term, but ruled out a few hours ahead of the official assignment.

In the selection of the government team Jokowi paid attention to candidates professionalism and integrity, demanding a thorough check of CVs and applications from the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Treasury. The attention to transparency and honesty was not enough, however, to avoid criticism from opponents and some of their supporters. The presence of people close to the former President Sukarnoputri has raised doubts and criticism.  These include her daughter Puan Maharani who was appointed to Culture and Human development, Cahyo Kumolo the right-hand man in the party as Minister of Interior and Sofyan Djalil - former Minister of Industry under President Megawati - to Economic Affairs.


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