02 September 2014
Joko Widowo has emerged from relative obscurity to be Indonesia’s president-elect. Before taking power in October he must form a competent cabinet and strengthen his coalition to avoid leading a minority government. Will he succeed?
Indonesia’s president-elect Joko Widodo has huge tasks on his hands as he prepares to formally take power on 20 October 2014. The immediate challenges facing the incoming president, better known as Jokowi, are at the strategic level and are two-fold. The first is to form a competent cabinet to help implement his vision for Indonesia. The second is to assemble a stronger coalition in parliament to avoid leading a minority government that is bound to be challenged by his defeated rival Prabowo Subianto and his larger coalition of parties.
Especially critical is assembling his cabinet. Although Jokowi won the July presidential election, he leads a minority coalition. Despite his immense popularity, his group of four parties controls only 37 per cent of the House of Representatives (DPR) elected in April. The other 63 per cent is controlled by Prabowo’s Merah-Putih (Red-White) coalition. Unless something is done before 20 October, the strong Prabowo-led opposition could be a constant obstacle to Jokowi’s government.
… Yang Razali Kassim is Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. An earlier version of this commentary appeared in The Straits Times.
IDSS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 03/09/2014