Jokowi to unveil much-awaited Cabinet lineup

Jokowi to unveil much-awaited Cabinet lineup
Above: Indonesia President Joko Widowo (2nd L) and first lady Ariana (2nd R), and Vice President Jusuf Kalla (R) and House of Representative Speaker Zulkifli Hasan (L)

JAKARTA - President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is set to finally announce the much-awaited Cabinet lineup on Sunday and will officially inaugurate the 34 ministers on Monday.

Amid widespread speculation and the reveal of an unconfirmed list of individuals thought to be members of the next Cabinet, as of late Saturday Jokowi had summoned at least 29 individuals believed to be ministerial candidates to Merdeka Palace

Andi Widjajanto, a former deputy of Jokowi's transition team now assisting the President form his Cabinet, said the President would announce his Cabinet lineup on Sunday at around 4 p.m.

Jokowi is also expected to have tea with the 34 ministerial candidates at a garden in the palace complex on Sunday, the first of such a gathering.

"There will be a short briefing about Monday's inauguration ceremony and [Jokowi will] ask the ministers to immediately prepare to work," Andi said on Saturday at the State Palace. "The President will immediately hold a Cabinet meeting on Monday at noon after the inauguration ceremony."

Andi said there would be no more changes to the list of ministerial candidates, especially since Jokowi had already been briefed by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) regarding its assessments of the candidates' track records.

As the list appears to be final, activists have also stepped up their last ditch efforts to stop Jokowi from appointing problematic candidates. Rights activists have called on the new President not to appoint any figures with poor human rights records as ministers.

Among the names of individuals circulating, including on the list of Cabinet ministers, are former Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Gen. (ret.) Wiranto, who chairs the Hanura Party; former Army chief of staff Gen. (ret.)

Ryamizard Ryacudu, who has close ties to Megawati Soekarnoputri, chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P); and former National Intelligence Agency (BIN) deputy chief As'ad Said Ali.

Speculation was rife that both Wiranto and Ryamizard were vying for the position of coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister while As'ad could be eyeing BIN's top post.

Choirul Anam, the deputy executive director of the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), highlighted Wiranto's role in the gross human rights violations in East Timor (now Timor Leste) in 1999.

Wiranto allegedly facilitated army soldiers and Jakarta-backed militias to commit severe human rights abuses during Indonesia's withdrawal from East Timor. Hundreds of civilians were reportedly killed and thousands of others were displaced.

"Indonesia is liable for the 1999 East Timor human rights violations," Anam said, citing the fact that the UN had gathered evidence on Wiranto's role and recommended a hybrid court or international tribunal try him for the case.

Human rights NGO Imparsial sent a letter to Jokowi on Friday warning him against appointing figures involved in past human rights abuses.

"It's important to ensure that Jokowi's ministers and other high-ranking officials are not figures who have questionable track records, not only in terms of corruption, but also human rights," Imparsial executive director Poengky Indarti said.

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