Indonesian president replaces social affairs minister in modest reshuffle

Indonesian President Joko Widodo waves to the student performers (not pictured) upon his arrival to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and related meetings in Clark, Pampanga, northern Philippines November 12, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo replaced the social affairs minister in his Cabinet on Wednesday and picked a new chief of staff in the third reshuffle of his five-year term.

The reshuffle was widely expected because some of Widodo’s ministers have requested leaves of absence to stand in regional elections later this year.

However, with only one minister involved, it was more modest than some expectations.

The new social affairs minister is Idrus Marham, a member of Golkar, the second-largest party in Widodo’s coalition. He replaces Khofifah Indar Parawansa, who is standing for election in East Java province.

Widodo also appointed a new chief of staff, Moeldoko, a retired military chief who uses only one name like many Indonesians.

Legislative and presidential elections will be held in 2019.

Reporting by Beawiharta, Fransiska Nangoy and Kanupriya Kapoor; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Michael Perry and Paul Tait