Ima Dini Shafira, Jakarta – NasDem Party chairperson Surya Paloh met with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the Jakarta State Palace on Monday afternoon, July 17, 2023. The meeting was held after the President tapped Budi Arie Setiadi as the new Communication and Information or Kominfo Minister and a number of deputy ministers.
Acting Secretary General of the NasDem Party, Hermawi Taslim, confirmed the meeting yet denied that the two discussed the issue of a cabinet reshuffle.
"[They did] not discuss a reshuffle. That is indeed the President's territory," Hermawi told Tempo on Monday.
According to him, the meeting was held around 17:20 Jakarta time and lasted for an hour.
The President inaugurated Budi Arie Setiadi, who is the chairman of his prominent volunteer group Projo, as the new Kominfo Minister replacing a NasDem politician Johnny G. Plate who is named a suspect in the corruption case of the Kominfo's BAKTI 4G Base Transceiver Station (BTS) project.
Hermawi previously said that his party had never proposed names to the President for certain ministerial positions, including Plate's substitute. According to him, a cabinet reshuffle is the full authority of Jokowi.
"Since the first term of Jokowi's presidency, NasDem has never submitted a name," he said.
President Jokowi considered the appointment of Budi Arie Setiadi fitting because the latter previously served as Deputy Minister of Village, Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration. The Kominfo's BAKTI 4G BTS project, meanwhile, targets underdeveloped villages lacking internet access.