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Indonesia's parties pledge support to president on cabinet reshuffle plan

09-27-2011 14:26 BJT

by Abu Hanifah

JAKARTA, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Leaders of political parties, who joined the coalition of parties supporting President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's second administration, pledged to continue their supports to the president amid the president's plan to replace some of his ministers in the cabinet who come from those parties.

In a meeting at the president's office last week, the president had hinted his plan to replace ministers whom he assessed incapable, allegedly implicated in corruption case, have a health problem and domestic affairs in their families next month. The replacement was aimed at securing the effectiveness of his government in the remaining three years of administration ending in 2014.

National Awakening Party (PKB) Chairman Muhaimin Iskandar, who is the current Transmigration and Manpower Minister said on Sunday that any decision regarding the cabinet line up would not affect his party's support in the coalition.

"The PKB will remain loyal to the president. The president has already said that there will be a decision in October. All we can do is continuing our hard work," Muhaimin said.

Muhaimin was among the ministers rumored to be replaced following media reports on his involvement in bribe case worth 1.5 billion rupiah (about 168,000 US dollars) implicating his aide in his ministry.

Another minister who was rumored to be ousted from the cabinet, Suryadharma Ali, said that replacing his ministers is the president's prerogative rights.

"The president can reshuffle anyone from any party anytime he wants," Suryadharma Ali, the religious affairs minister who also leads United Development Party (PPP), was quoted by a local media as saying.

Human rights groups and religious tolerance campaigners have pushed the president to replace Suryadharma for the surge of religious violence in the country prompted in part by the minister's soft stance toward hard-line groups.

Another minister from PPP, Suharso Monoarfa, was rumored to get replaced for domestic affairs in his family as the wife of the housing minister filed for a divorce recently.

Officials from the Presidential Palace have said that President Yudhoyono takes the issue of domestic harmony very seriously.

President Yudhoyono's political aide Daniel Sparingga said on Saturday that the president would replace ministers whom he regards of "too exhausted, unable to be a locomotive, incapable of running". "We need a good crew to accelerate development," Daniel said.

According to Daniel, the president has given tolerance for his incapable ministers to improve their working performance. "And now the time is up," he pointed out.

Earlier reports said that the other ministers rumored to get replaced are the state-run firms Minister Mustafa Abubakar, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Darwin Zahedy Saleh, Transportation Minister Freddy Numberi and Sports and Youth minister Andi Mallarangeng.

Darwin Saleh and Andi Mallarangeng are ministers who come from the president's Democrat Party.

Besides the president's Democrat Party, political parties joined in the coalition to support President Yudhoyono in his final presidency term were National Mandate Party (PAN), National Awakening Party (PKB), United Development Party (PPP), the Golkar Party and Justice and Welfare Party (PKS).

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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