05 August 2009

SBY to fill Cabinet only with coalition partners

President re-elect Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says the new Cabinet he intends to form with running mate Boediono will consist mainly of figures from political parties in coalition with the Democratic Party.

The move was a solution to incompatibilities between the country’s presidential and multiparty democracy systems, he said.

“The presidential Cabinet [system] and multiparty democracy don’t really fit together very
well,” Yudhoyono said while addressing a press conference at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday.

“Thus the ‘middle-way’ solution is while we keep attached to the presidential system, our executive board and especially the Cabinet should represent political parties, so as to create good political stability and ensure that the government runs well,” Yudho-yono said.

The coalition that had been formed between the Democratic Party and other parties
supporting Yudhoyono’s presi-dency would serve as the “main format” for the new Cabinet, he said.

The same coalition would be maintained in the House of Representatives, he added.

“However, there will be always room for wider togetherness in future — as long as justice is
guaranteed for all,” Yudhoyono said, hinting that he may recruit figures from outside the party

Yudhoyono further explained that what he meant by justice was that the “struggles” of other par-
ties in coalition with the Demo-cratic Party in the presidential election would be the “main consideration” in the allocating of ministerial posts.

In May, the Democratic Party signed the coalition contract with 22 smaller parties, including four major Islamic parties — the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the National Mandate Party (PAN),
the United Development Party (PPP) and the National Awakening Party (PKB).

The coalition had nominated him and former central bank governor Boediono as presidential and vice presidential candidates for the July 8 presidential election.

Rumors have circulated that these or those ministerial posts have been allocated to certain figures, including Yudhoyono’s own close aides and coalition leaders.

However, Yudhoyono has denied them all, saying it was too early to talk about the Cabinet structure, with his winning of the election, recently officiated by the General Elections Commission, currently being challenged by other candidates at the Constitutional Court.

He and Boediono were still working on the government’s agenda and priorities for the next five years, Yudhoyono said.

As for the professionalism of his future Cabinet, Yudhoyono said he shared the same idea as the public and observers — that the next Cabinet should be a professional, working Cabinet that could perform its tasks well.

“And, learning from the experiences of the past five years, we must see which functions of government departments and ministries we need to sharpen, and do many other things so that the next government runs more efficiently,” Yudhoyono said.

The Jakarta Post

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