Indonesia's Jokowi gets long list of cabinet candidates

Indonesia's Jokowi gets long list of cabinet candidates

A preliminary selection process has narrowed down the number of candidates for seats in president-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's Cabinet from 1,000 to about 200.

"The selection process will continue and we will further reduce the number of candidates. We still have plenty of time until [the inauguration] on Oct. 20," Jokowi said on Monday.

Jokowi also said that he would soon announce the structure of his Cabinet.

"The final Cabinet structure could be announced this week or the next," Jokowi said, adding that the final Cabinet lineup would be announced a week after his inauguration.

Andi Widjajanto, one of Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla's transition team's deputies, said that the 200 nominees had been subject to close scrutiny to see whether they met the criteria set by the team for each ministerial post.

"We are looking for the best candidate for each ministerial post. We set three general selection criteria parameters: integrity, competence and professionalism and ideology," he said.

Jokowi has repeatedly said that his administration would adopt the spirit of the "Trisakti" principle formulated by the country's first president, Sukarno, the late father of Megawati Soekarnoputri, chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

Trisakti, or "The Three Powers", covers "political sovereignty, economic independence and national character".

Comprehensive understanding of Trisakti and its application in development strategy is considered the "ideological" criteria by which every ministerial candidate should be judged.

Jokowi is also expected to use the name for his Cabinet, bowing to a recommendation issued by the PDI-P during its national meeting over the weekend in Semarang, Central Java.

Andi also said that as the screening process was nearing its conclusion, the team was now using a scoring system. "For example, a candidate who has experience as a CEO might get a higher score under one criterion than another candidate whose highest held position was as a director."

Jokowi and Kalla would only receive short-listed candidates and might follow up by conducting interviews, he said.

Andi said the candidates had been nominated by various parties in Jokowi's volunteer organisation, the media and Jokowi's head-hunting team.

The 200 nominees, however, are projected to only fill the 18 posts earmarked for professionals.

Andi said that the selection process for candidates for the 16 posts allocated for political parties had yet to begin, pending final nominations made by political parties in the coalition; the PDI-P, the NasDem Party, the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the Hanura Party.

Speculation was rife that the selection process had yet to begin as the coalition was waiting for the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the United Development Party (PPP) to decide whether they would join the coalition.

PDI-P lawmaker Budiman Sudjatmiko said that it was only matter of time before PAN and the PPP joined the ruling coalition.

Megawati's daughter, Puan Maharani, who chairs the PDI-P faction at the House of Representatives, said that the party was preparing a list of 50 candidates for Jokowi-Kalla's Cabinet.

"We are still carefully looking at their track records as we only want the most qualified to represent the PDI-P in the Cabinet," Puan told reporters.

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