President Joko Widodo (Photo source : Cabinet Secretary)

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The administration of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Vice President Jusuf Kalla (JK) will end in early 2019. This means that their period of leadership will only be one and a half years away.

This time will be shorter because by the end of 2018 the General Election Commission (KPU) has an agenda for anyone who wants to run for President and Vice President. In other words, the current government will work effectively for less than a year.

President Joko Widodo is expected to be re-nominated as the Presidential candidate for the period 2019-2024. However, Jokowi will not be running side by side with current Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who was also a former Vice President in Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s administration. Kalla has said he will retire from the political arena after 10 years running the Vice President’s office.

In the past year, President Jokowi has begun to re-establish a stronghold of supporters across the nation, who have been faithful to him. Community organizations, institutions, and ministers who had been loyal to him were asked to focus on completing a work program that could make people believe that he was worthy of defending and being the President of Indonesia for two periods, or ten years.

Jokowi had said that he has done his “campaign”. And the most effective campaign is to run the programs for the people as he has promised beforehand.

He tried as closely as possible with the people through the review of infrastructure programs spreading across the country, distributing the Smart Indonesia Card (KIP), launching nationwide land certificates, and other social programs.

However, support from the community and direct review of any government program is not enough, because he cannot run without constraints.

Jokowi still needs support from political parties that have been behind him, by becoming members of his so-called “Working Cabinet”. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), National Mandate Party (PAN), United Development Party (PPP), National Awakening Party (PKB), and People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), the National Democratic Party (Nasdem), and Golkar are now standing behind Jokowi’s government. These parties participated in promoting the achievement of the President as the ideal leader for Indonesia.

How likely is it for President Joko Widodo to be reelected in the 2019 presidential election?

Some parties have openly announced their support for the President to run for the second term, including Nasdem and Golkar party, apart from PDIP. PAN, which has been supporting Jokowi, has not confirmed whether the party will support the President to run for the second term. However, Golkar could still change its direction as the Chairman changes. Golkar, through its recent Plenary Meeting, has appointed the Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto to be its New Chairman, replacing Setya Novanto, who is currently facing graft case.

Hartarto was appointed by President Joko Widodo to replace the previous Industry Minister Saleh Husein in the first cabinet reshuffle. Hartarto is a technocrat who has a variety of experience in the industry and is expected to work in accordance with Jokowi’s direction.

However, as Chairman of a political party, Hartarto is expected to step down from the Joko Widodo administration, but that depends on the President. In the era of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), certain ministers held double positions – as party chairman and minister. A case in point was Surya Darma Ali, who was chairman of United Development Party, the second-largest Moslem Political Party, as well as serving as Minister of Religious Affairs.

Hatta Rajasa also became Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs as well as the Chairman of PAN.

President Widodo, however, appears to be reluctant to make the party chairman a cabinet minister. Wiranto, who became Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, had served as chairman of the Hanura Party. However, Wiranto handed over the party’s chairmanship to Oesman Sapta Odang following his reappointment as a cabinet minister.

What is the fate of Airlangga Hartarto? Will he resign as Industry Minister?

A number of political observers opine that Hartarto may give up his post as a Minister of Industry. The reason is that the President does not want his cabinet members to be too involved in practical politics while sitting as ministers of the Working Cabinet.

This gives a strong signal that there could be another limited cabinet reshuffle in upcoming months. This change would become the umpteenth time in this cabinet after the President made a considerable reshuffle in the early days of his reign.

The question now is who can replace Hartarto as Minister of Industry, while there is still no signal of which figure will replace him. The President could have been internally looking for the right person, either from businessmen or from political parties.

Another question is, will Golkar under Hartarto maintains support for President Joko Widodo in the 2019 presidential election? This prediction arises because Hartarto was believed to be backed by Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who could turned his support to a figure other than President Widodo in the 2019 presidential election.

In his speech after being elected, in the party’s plenary session last week, Hartarto gave a statement that Golkar will continue to give full support to President Joko Widodo.

“We are committed to supporting the Jokowi government until 2019. In the previous Golkar Party’s previous National Leaders Meeting, under previous Chairman Setya Novanto, Golkar declared the party’s support for President Joko Widodo until 2024,” he said.

However, Hartarto said that this party is an open party, and independent in making decisions according to internal mechanisms. This shows that Golkar’s standpoint in the 2019 presidential election could still change, as party cadres from the regions could pull out their support from the President.

President Jokowi’s strength in preparing for the 2019 presidential election was again shaken after his Social Minister Khofifah Indar Parawangsa confirmed he would leave the cabinet after deciding to run for East Java Provincial Governor in the regional election next year. Golkar Party, PPP, Nasdem, Hanura, and Democrats have already declared their support for Khofifah, who will be accompanied by Emil Dardak as Vice Governor candidate.

Therefore, two cabinet ministers could be leaving the cabinet. Until now, there has been no direct discussion between President Joko Widodo and Khofifah related to Khofifa’s nomination. However, Khofifah believes that the President already know her move.

Hartarto and Khofifah became two vital ministers in the Working Cabinet. The election of Hartarto to become Chairman of Golkar Party, and Khofifah’s strong desire to run for East Java Governor is a difficult situation for the President.

The nation is waiting for the President to make a decision with regard to Minister Hartarto’s status. Will he let Hartarto maintain his position as the Minister of Industry? Will Jokowi grant Khofifah permission to run for the East Java governor? The public may know the answers in upcoming months.

Written by TheInsiderStories Team