Jokowi: “No plans to meet SBY yet”

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President Joko Widodo is with Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. (photo: Media Harapan Doc.)

IO, Jakarta – The Democrat Party, despite its initial consolidation with President Joko Widodo, has yet to determine whether they wish to position themselves within the Government or outside of it. However, until this moment, the party claims that is has been maintaining intense communication and approach with Jokowi as the President-Elect. Democrat Party Deputy General Chairman Syarief Hasan stated that a meeting between General Chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) and Jokowi is scheduled for the near future. “I don’t know the exact date yet, but communication between SBY and Jokowi is ongoing,” he said in Menteng, Central Jakarta.

Syarief further stated that it is likely the meeting between the two statesmen will be held in August. He stated that SBY desires to contribute again to the Indonesian political scene after 40 days of mourning the passing of his wife, Mrs. Ani Yudhoyono. Therefore, Democrat is actively communicating with Jokowi on many things, including setting the proper time for them to meet.

Despite his denial that SBY and Jokowi’s meeting will comprise lobbying for political positions, Syarief stated that Democrat Party does have qualified cadres who can be recommended to President Elect Jokowi to serve as ministers in the 2019-2024 Second Term Cabinet.

The Democrat Party was the ruling party for 10 years when SBY was president. This is the primary reason that it has a large number of qualified cadres. Syarief stated that their qualified cadres can serve not just as ministers, but as any position necessary. However, the Party leaves the organization of the Cabinet to Jokowi. “We cannot say anything about the Cabinet, because it is the President’s prerogative. No matter who he appoints, we cannot interfere. Yes, we are waiting for his decision. However, we are certain that many of our cadres are qualified,” he said.

On the other hand, Jokowi denies that he is meeting SBY soon. “No, not yet. There is no plan for going there yet,” he said. However, Jokowi also said that “It is important for me to meet everybody in order to maintain good relations. With everyone, including SBY,” he said.

As for the names and positions of ministers who will be helping him in the upcoming term, Jokowi admitted that some names are on his desk. He is keeping his options open for now, as the more alternatives available for ministerial positions, the better it will be. “We have yet to form our Cabinet, but we have been receiving names. We are still collecting options,” he said. (Dan)