Protests erupt over changes to anticorruption commission . . .
Joko Widodo (Jokowi) was inaugurated ahead of his 2nd term as President of Indonesia amidst student demonstrations and terrorist threats last Sunday. Although Jokowi comfortably won April’s election, his image as an outsider from the political elite and an un-corrupted politician is fast eroding. In his first term, Jokowi fought issues such as inequality and worked to enhance infrastructure. He also pledged to fight corruption. But his recent move to cripple Indonesia’s anti-corruption commission was seen as a betrayal of his supporters and sparked massive student protests in September. In his inauguration speech, Jokowi said economic reforms and human development were priorities for his second mandate, but avoided topics that ignited the ongoing protests.
Jokowi announces new cabinet . . .
President Jokowi announced his new cabinet today, which includes both familiar faces and surprising ones. Comprised of more than three dozen members, the new cabinet is formed by individuals from the private sector, the Indonesian Party of Struggle (Jokowi’s party), and from other parties in the ruling coalition.
Economic reforms, fighting extremism, and education improvements . . .
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, known for her stance against corruption and tax evasion, will remain in the cabinet and will lead economic reforms. To address growing radicalization in the country, Jokowi appointed former military deputy commander Fachrul Razi as religious affairs minister. And the appointment of Prabowo Subianto as defence minister, suggests the government will take a strong security approach. Prabowo, Jokowi’s main opponent in the last election, is a controversial figure accused, but not charged, of kidnapping pro-democracy activists in the 1990s. Finally, in his plan to further human development and manage the country’s challenged education system, Jokowi appointed GoJek founder Nadiem Makarim as minister of culture and education. Critics, however, worry that his innovative ideas may not be enough to overcome Indonesia’s leaden bureaucracy.
- Channel News Asia: Jokowi's new Cabinet shows commitment to fight extremism, improve education: Analysts
- The Diplomat: Terrorism threat looms over Indonesia as attention shifts to Jokowi’s second term
- South China Morning Post: Indonesia’s Jokowi taps ex-military men for defence and religious affairs in new cabinet line-up