(Corrects second last paragraph to make clear Newmont,
Churchill legal challenges are international arbitration cases)
By Kanupriya Kapoor
JAKARTA Aug 4 Indonesia's president-elect Joko
Widodo on Monday announced a high-powered advisory team to
handle his transition to power as he prepares to take over the
top job in the world's third-largest democracy later this year.
The five-member "transition office" will lead a team of
several advisers who will be responsible for drawing up a policy
roadmap to fulfil major campaign promises and address pressing
issues facing Southeast Asia's biggest economy.
"This transition office is needed to prepare the
implementation of our vision and programmes," Widodo and vice
president-elect Jusuf Kalla said in a statement, adding the team
would prioritise universal access to healthcare and education.
Widodo, commonly known by his nickname Jokowi, beat rival
Prabowo Subianto in last month's presidential election, the
closest in the history of the world's most populous Muslim
Prabowo, an ex-general, has challenged the election result
in the Constitutional Court, which will start hearing the case
this week and is expected to deliver a verdict by Aug. 21. Its
decision will be final with no right of appeal.
Widodo has promised to form a cabinet that is dominated by
technocrats in order to overhaul a sleepy bureaucracy and
introduce much-needed economic reform to address big fuel
subsidies, cooling investment and creaky infrastructure.
But concern persists that the former small-city mayor, who
is relatively inexperienced on the national stage, may be
beholden to his political party and its chief, former president
Megawati Sukarnoputri, for key appointments and policy advice.
TAKING OFFICE ON OCT. 20
The transition team will be headed by Rini Soemarno, a close
aide of Megawati. Soemarno, an influential, U.S.-educated
businesswoman, served during Megawati's presidency as trade and
industry minister and is a former head of PT Astra International
, Indonesia's biggest automobile distributor.
Another member of the team of advisers, Hasto Kristiyanto,
is vice secretary general of Widodo's Indonesian Democratic
Other figures include Anies Baswedan, a respected academic
and education specialist, a military expert and a senior member
of a coalition partner.
Widodo, a former furniture businessman, last month invited
the public to participate in an online poll to choose cabinet
ministers, but it was unclear how the survey would affect the
The new cabinet will be announced after Widodo takes office
on Oct 20.
The team will also draw up a list of potential cabinet
ministers and review strategies to handle "major legal
liabilities" facing the incoming administration like
international arbitration cases involving mining giants Newmont
Mining Corp and Churchill Mining, two of
Widodo's aides told Reuters.
Newmont last month filed for international arbitration over
Indonesia's mineral export tax, while Churchill has been
battling the government for years over lost rights to a coal
(Additional reporting by Johan Purnomo; Editing by Randy Fabi)