Joko promotes loyalist to his team


President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo promoted one of his loyalists, Hadi Tjahjanto, yesterday to a senior post in the Cabinet and also welcomed opposition Democratic Party leader Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono as the newest member of his outgoing administration.

In a ceremony at the State Palace, Hadi, formerly the agrarian and spatial planning minister, was sworn in into his new position as the coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister.

The coordinating ministry position had been vacant for about three weeks since Mahfud MD resigned from the Cabinet to allow him to focus on running for vice president alongside Ganjar Pranowo, the presidential candidate fielded by Jokowi’s own Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

The ties between Jokowi and the PDI-P had deteriorated ahead of the Feb 14 election and the president had faced accusations of mobilising state resources in support of Ganjar’s rival and presumptive winner former army general Prabowo Subianto.

Hadi is a long-time ally of Jokowi.

The former general was appointed commander of the Adi Soemarmo Air Force base in Surakarta, Central Java in 2010, when the president was still serving as the city’s mayor between 2005 and 2012.

After serving as the Indonesian Military (TNI) commander for a record four years from 2018, Hadi was later appointed as the spatial planning minister, proving his good chemistry with Jokowi.

Also yesterday, Agus, the eldest son of Democratic Party founder and former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, was named the new agrarian and spatial planning minister, replacing Hadi.

The Democrats are now a member of the big-tent alliance that backed the presidential bid of Prabowo, whose running mate was Jokowi’s eldest son Gibran Rakabuming Raka, after the party pulled its support for opposition figurehead Anies Baswedan.

Once touting itself as the vehicle for change, the Democratic Party campaigned intensively for the Prabowo-Gibran ticket, which pledged to continue Jokowi’s programmes, and which staged major rallies in the party’s stronghold of East Java.

Agus’ appointment came after Jokowi hosted the senior Yudhoyono in October last year at the Bogor Palace in West Java.

Jokowi appeared to enjoy breakfast together with Agus last month during his working visit to Central Java amid the election campaign season. — The Jakarta Post/ANN

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