Indonesia: After failed MPR bid, Gerindra takes another shot at next Jokowi Cabinet

  • Following its failure to secure control over the People’s Representatives Assembly (MPR), the Gerindra Party has returned to bargaining for posts in the next Cabinet of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in its latest attempt to maintain a strong presence on the national political scene.
  • The assembly, which consists of members of the House of Representatives and the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), has agreed to appoint Golkar’s Bambang Soesatyo as MPR speaker, after no parties showed support for Ahmad Muzani of Gerindra.
  • Ahmad withdrew his candidacy after Prabowo himself had told him to give up for the sake of the party’s “greater strategic” interests and due to majority support for Bambang, who was backed by nine of the 10 factions in the assembly.
  • The PDI-P, which had earlier expressed its openness to Gerindra’s MPR bid, favored Golkar in the last hours after Bambang said he would support a plan of Jokowi’s largest ally to amend the Constitution.
  • The PDI-P’s decision came after Prabowo had met PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri on 3 Oct 19 evening, before Bambang was announced as speaker, and speculation was rife that Prabowo had made a deal with Megawati for a ministerial post in the upcoming Jokowi Cabinet.
  • Ahmad also denied that lobbying for a ministerial post for Gerindra had prompted his decision to make way for Bambang. However, Gerindra deputy chairman Arief Poyuono did not refute that the party would ask for Cabinet positions.
  • “Yes, it looks like we will ask for three ministerial positions, but it all depends on the President,” Arief said.
  • Gerindra has proposed three people of its own ranks for Cabinet posts, namely deputy chairmen Edhy Prabowo and Fadli Zon as well as Sandiaga Uno, Prabowo’s running mate in the 2019 presidential race against Jokowi.
  • Prabowo’s spokesman Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak said Prabowo had never specifically asked Jokowi or the ruling coalition for ministerial positions and had only offered concepts in three areas, namely food, energy and economics.

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