Indonesia's attorney-general and top spy posts remain empty

Indonesia's attorney-general and top spy posts remain empty

Contrary to the tradition of his predecessors, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo kept the post of attorney-general and a top spy post empty during the new Cabinet's inauguration on Monday.

While he announced Development Finance Comptroller (BPKP) head Mardiasmo as the new deputy finance minister and Indonesian ambassador to Saudi Arabia A.M. Fachir as deputy foreign minister, the President has yet to reveal the new attorney-general and National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief.

In previous Cabinet inaugurations, the posts in question, which are equivalent to ministerial positions, have been filled alongside the other Cabinet posts.

Islamic University of Indonesia law expert A. Mudzakkir said that it was not against the rules to postpone the appointment of the two offices.

"But when the Cabinet is dismissed, both officials will quit their posts like the rest of the Cabinet," he said as quoted by Antara news agency on Monday.

Speculation is rife that the President is still being fiercely lobbied by rival candidates for the positions.

After former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono officially dismissed his Cabinet, including former attorney-general Basrief Arief, on Oct. 19, Jokowi appointed Deputy Attorney-General Andhi Nirwanto as acting attorney-general.

Several figures have been tipped for the BIN top job, including former BIN deputy chief As'ad Said Ali, former military intelligence agency (BAIS) chief Rear Marshal (ret.) Ian Perdanakusuma and current BIN deputy chief Maj. Gen. Erfi Trianussu.

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