Religious affairs ministry not to be dissolved

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President-elect Joko Widodos team announced here on Wednesday that Joko Widodo will not dissolve the Ministry of Religious Affairs and dismissed it as a mere rumor.

"That is a mere rumor," stated Eko Sandjojo, the deputy of the team that is in charge of the governments transition.

According to some recent media reports, Joko Widodo had announced on Monday that he will rename the Ministry of Religious Affairs to the Ministry of Waqaf, Hajj and Alms Affairs, and it has been included in the list of 34 ministries that will be formed under his government.

Eko noted that according to the law, the names of several ministries cannot be changed including the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ministry of Defense.

In the meantime, he revealed that the teams working groups are currently finalizing the criteria for candidates to be appointed in the concerned ministries.

Eko, who is a cadre from the Nation Awakening Party (PKB), one of the parties that supported Joko Widodo in the presidential election on July 9, stated that his party has prepared a list of its best cadres to be chosen for the posts.

Joko Widodo, or Jokowi as he is also popularly called, announced on Monday that his cabinet will comprise 34 ministries, 18 of which will be held by non-party professionals, while the rest 16 will be given to professionals with political party backgrounds.

Eko declined to name the cadres that PKB had proposed saying that "officially it would be the general chairman that would present them to Jokowi."

The pair of former vice president Jusuf Kalla and Jakarta Governor Jokowi from the Indonesia Democratic Party Struggle (PDIP) supported by the National Democrat Party (Nasdem), the PKB, the Peoples Conscience Party (Hanura), and the Indonesia Justice and Unity Party (PKPI) won the election on July 9 after defeating former army general Prabowo Subianto from the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra).

Prabowo pairing with former economic minister Hatta Rajasa from the National Mandate Party (PAN) was also supported by the Golkar Party, the United Development Party (PPP), the Moon and Star Party (PBB), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), and the Democrat Party. (*)

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