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Indonesia cabinet includes president's rival, startup founder

Updated: 2019-10-23 16:23

Indonesian President Joko Widodo poses for photo with new Indonesia Onward Cabinet at Merdeka Palace, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Oct 23, 2019. [Photo/IC]

JAKARTA - Indonesian President Joko Widodo unveiled his cabinet for a second term on Wednesday, retaining former World Bank executive Sri Mulyani Indrawati as finance minister and tapping the leader of the opposition as he seeks to push through reforms.

The co-founder of ride sharing and payments firm Gojek as well as a former chairman of Inter Milan soccer club were also named to the cabinet, confirming earlier reports.

The make-up of the cabinet was being closely watched to see how many technocrats - who are more likely to fall in with Widodo's plans for boosting growth and investment - were included. In the end, around half of his cabinet of 34 ministers were technocrats, or people with technical knowledge in their field, with the others better known for ties to political parties.

"First don't be corrupt, create a clean system. Second, no separate ministerial vision and mission, only the presidential vision and mission," Widodo said while seated on the steps of the palace flanked by his ministers.

Widodo named his chief rival, Prabowo Subianto, as defence minister.

Bringing in Prabowo, Widodo's sole challenger in April's bitterly fought poll, could make it easier for the government to push through legislation. With the inclusion of Prabowo's Gerindra party, government support in parliament increases to 74 percent.

After his swearing in, a relaxed-looking Prabowo said he would immediately head to his ministry.

"I will learn the latest situation and then we will begin work," he told reporters.

Widodo picked former industry minister and Golkar party chairman Airlangga Hartarto to head his economic team, while confirming the reappointment of Indrawati, an economist, as finance minister, who has now served in various administrations.

The administration would work to revise 74 existing laws hampering investment using "omnibus laws", Widodo said, referring to laws that group diverse and unrelated issues.


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