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Agus and Moeldoko extend olive branch with symbolic handshake in Jokowi's cabinet meeting

Jakarta Globe - February 26, 2024

Mita Amalia Hapsari, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo conducted a full cabinet meeting at the State Palace on Monday, where an interesting interaction unfolded between newly-appointed Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, affectionately known as AHY, and Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko.

As the meeting approached, AHY and Moeldoko were seen shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries for a few seconds, capturing the attention of the media covering the event.

For years, Moeldoko and Agus have been entangled in public disputes, centered around Moeldoko challenging the legitimacy of Agus as the Democratic Party's chairman. The conflict escalated when Moeldoko organized an alternative congress for the party, rallying dissatisfied members who subsequently elected him as chairman through acclamation.

Before the handshake, AHY was engaged in a conversation with the Chief Security Minister Hadi Tjahjanto. Observing Moeldoko behind AHY, Hadi extended his handshake, followed by AHY shaking hands with Moeldoko.

During the handshake, AHY and Moeldoko exchanged a few words. Responding to media calls, they posed for the cameras with smiling faces while shaking hands.

The handshake lasted for about 10 seconds, after which Moeldoko moved on to greet other ministers and officials present.

"I want to be an integral part of this government. I don't want to exaggerate what has passed because that would mean we're not moving forward. Everything we have gone through is a part of the political journey, part of the Democratic Party's journey as well. I consider it a valuable experience to be taken as lessons learned. We should focus together with other cabinet members," said AHY.

Moeldoko also expressed a similar sentiment. He mentioned that the meeting and handshake with AHY were ordinary occurrences.

"We are colleagues in the same cabinet; this is normal. It doesn't disturb our working relationship. We are focused on discussing government effectiveness," Moeldoko said after the meeting.

The dispute between AHY and Moeldoko ended with the Ministry of Law and Human Rights officially supporting AHY's leadership as the Chairman of the Democratic Party, a position established by the 2020 Congress.

Moeldoko's faction had filed lawsuits with the State Administrative Court and the Supreme Court, all of which were rejected.

The Democratic Party officially joined President Joko Widodo's government coalition after AHY assumed the position of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning Minister, replacing Hadi Tjahjanto, who was appointed as the Chief Security Minister. Both were sworn in together by President Jokowi at the State Palace on Feb. 21.

However, Moeldoko was not present at the swearing-in ceremony. On the same day, he explained in an Instagram post that he was in Colombo, Sri Lanka, participating as a speaker at the FAO Asia-Pacific conference attended by 34 country delegations.

"For those looking for me today, don't worry, I'm here," wrote Moeldoko on his Instagram account on Wednesday afternoon.

He also congratulated the newly appointed ministers, AHY and Hadi Tjahjanto, expressing his inability to attend the inauguration due to official duties as the head of the Presidential Chief of Staff Office.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/agus-and-moeldoko-extend-olive-branch-with-symbolic-handshake-in-jokowis-cabinet-meetin