JAKARTA (Rambu Energy) – President-elect Joko Widodo on Friday night (Oct 10) held an informal meeting with the Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Zulkifli Hasan, Speaker of the House of Representative (DPR) Setya Novanto and current chairman of Regional Representative Council (DPD) Irman Gusman at a hotel in Menteng, Central Jakarta.
The meeting was seen as a move to ease public concerned that the MPR might block the installment of Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla as President and VP-elect. The informal meeting lasts for about two hours.
Joko Widodo told reporters that the meeting will be held once in a month with the upper and lower houses (MPR and DPR) as well as with DPD to ensure effective communication between the Executive and Parliament.
“All that happened in the last few days has been resolved. Don’t ask again about attempts to block the inauguration. It is now time for us to work,” Jokowi was quoted by Kompas daily as saying.
The MPR Speaker Zulkifli Hasan, a senior politician of the National Mandate Party (PAN) and former Forestry Minister, said that the meeting agenda was about the President-Vice President inauguration ceremony to be held on Oct. 20. They agreed to ensure that the ceremony will go ahead smoothly, orderly and successfully.
MPR is also scheduled to meet with Joko Widodo again on Monday.
Over the past few days the Indonesian Stock Exchange composite index plunged and the rupiah was also under pressured as investors opt to pull out from the market on concerned that the pro-Prabowo Subianto coalition parties which dominated key positions of MPR and DPR will block the inauguration ceremony and block the government programs.
The concerned was exacerbated by the statement made by Hashim Djoyohadikusumo, younger brother of Prabowo Subianto, in Wall Street that that his party and coalition parties will lead an active opposition. “We will be able to control the legislative agenda.”
The coalition will control all committee chairmanships and will have the authority to conduct investigations into the activities of President-elect Widodo and members of his administration, he said. The coalition also has the veto power over more than 100 top appointive positions, including the chief of the national police, the head of the armed forces and members of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court.
“Yes, Mr. Jokowi there is a price to be paid,” he was quoted by Wall Street as saying.
Hashim’s statement sparked outrages from the Indonesian public, political observers and legislators. They said that Hashim’s statement indicates that he doesn’t understand the Presidential System in Indonesia. It is not easy to topple the President without strong reasons.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the rumor that some people may block the inauguration ceremony is “way too much”. Democratic Party politician Ruhut Sitompul made a harsh comment, calling on Hashim to “watch out his mouth”. Joko Widodo, he said, is backed by people power.
In a face-saving move, Hashim Djoyohadikusumo on Friday issued statement that local media has manipulated and misinterpreted his statement. He said he has no intention to block the inauguration of the President and VP-elect. (*)