APSN Banner

Guile behind the recruitment of Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono

Tempo - February 28, 2024

Jakarta – Jokowi appoints Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Planning. He is sowing the seeds of influence in the next administration.

In appointing Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Planning/Head of the National Land Agency in the Advance Indonesia Cabinet, President Joko Widodo is gathering support for his government in its last eight months.

Although the General Election Commission (KPU) is still counting the votes, the eventual victory of Prabowo Subianto paired with Jokowi's son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, in the 2024 presidential election is staring us in the face.

At a time when there are rumors about electoral fraud and efforts by the parties supporting other presidential candidates to propose the House of Representatives (DPR) uses its right of inquiry to ask questions about the organization of the election, the inclusion of the Democrat Party Chair in the government is a pragmatic political move.

It is difficult to expect that Agus will be able to resolve land conflicts or carry out agrarian reform in his time leading the Agrarian Ministry. As well as not having much time, his boss, Jokowi, does not have a good record in addressing these two strategic issues. Moreover, Agus is not known for his concern for agrarian matters.

The appointment of AHY – as Agus is often known – can also be seen as a 'reward' for the shift in his party's political support in the presidential election. Before joining the Prabowo coalition, the Democrats supported the pairing of Anies Baswedan and Muhaimin Iskandar.

The entrance of the Democrats can also be seen as a sign of the confrontation between Jokowi and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). Megawati Sukarnoputri was Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's rival in the 2004 and 2009 elections. The support of Jokowi, a PDI-P member, for Prabowo was deeply disappointing for Megawati.

The presence of AHY in the government therefore reinforces indications of Jokowi's significant influence over the formation of Prabowo's future administration. Appointing a minister near the end of a government term is Jokowi's way of presenting a fait accompli so the Democrats are again involved in the next cabinet. It will be difficult for Prabowo not to include the Democrats, because he needs that party's support.

Giving a place to AHY is also part of Jokowi's endeavors to fortify Prabowo's administration. Previously, he tried to embrace parties outside the coalition supporting his son. Among others, he met with NasDem Party Chair Surya Paloh. He is to invite the leaders of other parties and says he will become a bridge between warring sides.

It appears that this will result in the Prabowo administration not having any meaningful opposition. This is clearly a danger to democracy. The political parties supporting the Anies Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar and Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud Md. candidate pairings should do the right thing by going into opposition. The large number of seats they will have at the DPR means they could become a strong opposition.

The moves by AHY and the Democrat Party, no matter how valid they are politically, should not be copied by others. The ease with which the Democrats were persuaded gives a strong impression that the party simply wants to join the government. Its almost 10 years outside the administration were a difficult time. AHY, who abandoned his military career while he was still young might be hoping for a high-profile cabinet position.

Once again, the people are mere spectators to the circus of politics in this country.

– Read the complete story in Tempo English Magazine

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1838898/guile-behind-the-recruitment-of-agus-harimurti-yudhoyon