26 July 2014
Indonesian president-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s unusual call for public consultation in the selection of his Cabinet members could be an attempt to engage Indonesians and side-step pressure from coalition partners on ministerial appointments, say analysts. But they say the move could backfire and complicate decision-making for Mr Widodo if there is overwhelming public support for particular candidates.
On Thursday, the volunteer-based supporter group Jokowi Center published an online poll called “People’s Choice for an Alternative Cabinet” on a crowdsourcing webpage. The poll lists three candidates for each of the 34 ministerial seats and offers an option for respondents to propose another name.
The president-elect has reportedly backed the poll idea. “It’s just asking for inputs. There’s no problem with it, right?” he told reporters at the Jakarta City Hall on Thursday.
Analysts note that Mr Widodo’s move is typical of his “blusukan” style, of directly interacting with ordinary people. The organisers said the list was drawn up following intensive discussions with various groups. It is not clear when the poll result will be announced and how Mr Widodo intends to use it.
… “It signals a change in Indonesian politics. He needs the support of the people to combat the oligarchic power of the PDI-P members,” said Mr Adri Wanto, an associate research fellow in the Indonesia Programme at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, adding that Mr Widodo has made it clear that he preferred to appoint technocrats as ministers.
IDSS / RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 29/07/2014