Jokowi critic is Indonesian Parliament’s new Speaker

  • Indonesia’s Parliament has sworn in as its new Speaker Mr Bambang Soesatyo, a critic of President Joko Widodo’s government who was appointed after the previous Speaker was indicted in a USD173mn graft scandal.
  • Mr Bambang is a long-time member of Golkar, the second-largest party in Mr Joko’s coalition and which controls leadership of the House. Golkar appointed Mr Bambang to replace Setya Novanto, who was forced to resign in 2017, Reuters reported.
  • Analysts say Mr Bambang’s appointment could mean tougher negotiations in Parliament for Mr Joko’s government as it tries to push through reforms in the last year of his term before legislative and presidential elections in 2019.
  • Despite Golkar being part of the ruling coalition, Mr Bambang has previously criticised the President’s handling of the economy, highlighting bureaucratic inefficiency and slow budget disbursement.
  • Some see his appointment as a missed opportunity for institutional reform. Mr Bambang previously served on the parliamentary commission for legal affairs, where he lobbied for the popular anti-corruption agency’s powers to be restricted.

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