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Jokowi’s First Months: Compromise Cabinet, Subsidy Cuts, and Corrupt Coalition

By Ulla Fionna

5 February 2015


• President Jokowi’s first months have been dominated by important policies on liftingfuel subsidies, and choosing his cabinet as well as strategic appointments. Althoughthe cabinet demonstrated a number of ‘compromise and reward’ appointments, itsministers are nevertheless under pressure to perform.

• Jokowi’s weak position in the parliament has been improved by leadership crises inthe opposition. The success in retaining direct local elections (pilkada) should alsobring some confidence to the minority government.

• His government has managed the first major disaster – the crash of AirAsia QZ 8501– with great care and decisiveness. His fuel subsidy policies were unpopular amongstIndonesia’s poor but observers saw it as necessary for fiscal purposes. The subsequentdrop in oil prices has helped him further in lifting the subsidies completely. However,it was his cabinet line-up as well as his choices for leaders in legal and judicialinstitutions which have invited criticism over his clean credentials.

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