Indonesia Jokowi set to announce cabinet revamp on Tuesday


Indonesian President Joko Widodo (picture) is expected to announce a revamped cabinet Tuesday as the government fights Southeast Asia’s worst coronavirus outbreak.

Widodo, known as Jokowi, will install the new ministers later in the day, Heru Budi Hartono, the head of presidential secretariat, said in text messages. No details on the new lineup were immediately available and the announcement may come any time, Hartono said.

Two ministers in the current cabinet, Juliari Batubara of social affairs and Edhy Prabowo of fisheries, were detained by the country’s anti-corruption agency for graft probes, leaving them vulnerable in a reshuffle.

The region’s largest economy is the epicenter of its pandemic, with more than 670,000 cases as of Dec. 21 and 20,000 deaths. The country is expecting a deeper economic contraction this year of 1.7% to 2.2% from its earlier estimate of a 0.6% to 1.7% slump.

“A cabinet reshuffle must be done immediately, apart from replacing ministers involved in legal cases, the challenges ahead are tough for Jokowi,” said Arya Fernandes, a Jakarta-based political analyst for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The president, he added, should also re-evaluate ministers overseeing health, economy and finance issues.

The Jakarta Composite Index fell 0.3% on the cabinet revamp plan, while the rupiah weakened 0.5% to 14,195 against the U.S. dollar as of 10:19 a.m. local time.