Commissioner General Syafruddin become Administrative and Bureaucratic Minister - Photo Privacy

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – National Police Deputy Chief Comissioner General Syafruddin has officially led the Administrative and Bureaucratic Ministry as he was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo at the State Palace on Wednesday (15/08).

Syafruddin has replaced Amanat Nasional Party politician Asman Abnur, who resigned from the Working Cabinet on Tuesday after his party decided to join the opposition coalition to challenge Widodo’s reelection bid in the 2019 presidential race.

Abnur served as Widodo’s aide for two years since 2016, replacing Hanura Party politician Yuddy Chrisnandi, after Amanat Nasional eventually joined the President’s coalition in 2015. The party was endorsing defeated opposition leader Prabowo Subianto in the 2014 race.

His resignation was revealed to the public on Tuesday (14/08) after he told State Secretary Pratikno during a meeting at the Presidential Palace said that Abnur not want to burden Widodo and his administration as demands for his resignation have mounted following Amanat Nasional’s choice to join the opposition coalition, which is led by Subianto, in the 2019 election.

Besides Amanat Nasiona, Subianto’s 2019 presidential ticket has also been endorsed by his Gerindra Party, the Keadilan Sejahtera Party, the Demokrat Party and newcomer Berkarya Party.

Meanwhile, Widodo’s is endorsed by the ruling Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan Party, the Golkar Party, the Kebangkitan Bangsa Party, the Persatuan Pembangunan Party, the NasDem Party, the Hanura Party, in addition to two three newcomers – the Perindo Party, the Solidaritas Indonesia Party and the Keadilan dan Persatuan Indonesia Party.

As a compensation to Hanura that was part of the political coalition endorsing his ticket for the 2014 election, Widodo elected Hanura executive member Wiranto as a Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs minister, and Yuddy as the Indonesian Ambassador to Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia.

Abnur’s resignation might cause a minor shake-up to Widodo’s administration because his post has appeared as a “least priority” for him in his attempt to secure his second-term in office as the President is apparently focusing on developing infrastructure and economy in order to ensure eligible voters cast their votes for him again.

However, Abnur is only one of Widodo’s ministers that must leave their posts in the nearest future approaching the 2019 elections that will simultaneously hold the competition for presidential and legislative candidates. Six other ministers are expected to apply for leave, if not resign, soon as they will contest the upcoming legislative election that will require their full attention.

The list includes Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani; Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly; Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri; Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi; Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Minister Eko Putro Sandjojo and Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin.

Ensuring the ministers prioritize the government’s amid parties’ interests or even finding replacements to fill in their posts [if any of them decide to resign] will be a big challenge for Widodo because he must ensure his administration intact and perform in order to maintain the trust of the public for his second-term ticket while at the same time he must also focus on setting up a campaign team to help him win the upcoming election.

The challenge to have control over the political coalition that has supported his current government and his 2019 presidential aspiration has added to the task Widodo must accomplish during the short time available before the race take place in April next year.

In ensuring the unity of his coalition, the president might have to submit himself to political transactions, again. He is expected to grant the soon-to-be-empty ministerial positions to politicians from within his coalition or any individuals that obtain endorsements from political elites in the coalition.

Submitting to transactions might be unavoidable in politics as it is said that politics is about taking and giving. But the question is what Widodo will give in order to maintain power and stability ahead of the 2019 battle and beyond.

TIS Intelligence Team, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com

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