Indonesia: Widodo reshuffles cabinet to tackle economy
Amongst 9 new faces are return to Finance Ministry for World Bank's Sri Mulyani Indrawati after 6 year absence.
Ainur Rohmah - TUBAN, Indonesia (AA) - Indonesia's President has reshuffled his cabinet, replacing a majority of ministers dealing with the economy in an effort to accelerate development.
In a late morning press conference, Joko Widodo revealed that among the nine new faces were the World Bank's Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who previously served as finance minister during the presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Others were the appointment of political strongman Luhut Pandjaitan as the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, and the placing of retired general Wiranto -- a former commander of the Indonesian military -- to take over his role as the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs.
Widodo told media that the reshuffle was focused on "strengthening the national economy to face global economic challenges" and overcoming the problems of poverty and economic inequality, providing more employment, and improving people's welfare.
"We must act immediately and benefit people directly in the short and long term," Metro TV reported him as saying.
The country's Central Statistics Agency has recorded economic growth in the first quarter of 2016 at 4.92 percent, lower than the government's target of 5.2 percent.
In addition to strengthening the economic team, the reshuffle is also intended to rally two parties, Golkar and the National Mandate Party (NMP) -- formerly the opposition -- to the government's economic fight.
Golkar's Airlangga Hartarto was appointed as head of the Industry Ministry, while the NMP's Asman Abnur now heads the Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform.
Other new faces leading key ministries are Muhadjir Effendy (Education Minister), Eko Putro (Rural and Transmigration Minister), Enggartiasto Lukita (Trade Ministry), Arcandra Tahar (Energy Minister), and Budi Karya Sumadi (Transportation Minister), Bambang Brojonegoro (National Development Planning Agency) and Tomas Lembong (Investment Coordinating Board).
After a five-year tenure at Yudhoyono's finance ministry, Indrawati resigned in 2010 -- a move that led to the stock exchange closing down 3.8 percent -- and her subsequent move to Managing Director of the World Bank Group was described as "Indonesia’s loss, and the World’s gain".
Widodo, who became president after the October 2014 election, last reshuffled his cabinet in August 2015.
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