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Jokowi and Prabowo bond, PDI-P and PKB ministers absent from cabinet Ramadan gathering

Jakarta Globe - March 29, 2024

Fito Akhmad Erlangga, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, along with Vice President Ma'ruf Amin, invited the Ministers of the Indonesian Cabinet to break the fast together (iftar) at the State Palace on Thursday.

Jokowi sat at the same table with Ma'ruf Amin, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, Chief Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto, and Chief Security Minister Hadi Tjahjanto. Meanwhile, several ministers from The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the National Awakening Party (PKB) were unable to attend.

Minister of Communication and Informatics Budi Arie Setiadi clarified that it was acceptable for Prabowo to sit at the same table with the president and vice president, as he was now the elected president. "Well, it's okay, he's already the elected president. Why wouldn't it be allowed? It's permissible since he's already elected," said Budi Arie.

Budi explained that Jokowi and Prabowo did not discuss the transition to the new government for 2024-2029. Prabowo is set to be inaugurated as the new president of Indonesia in October after winning the 2024 Presidential Election with 58 percent of the votes.

Meanwhile, several ministers were observed to be absent from the iftar, including ministers from the PDI-P, such as Social Minister Tri Rismaharini and Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly.

The relationship between PDI-P and Jokowi deteriorated after Jokowi's eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, was nominated as Prabowo Subianto's vice presidential candidate, running against the PDI-P-endorsed candidate Ganjar Pranowo.

Additionally, several PKB ministers were absent from the iftar, including Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah and the Villages, Disadvantaged Regions Development, and Transmigration Minister Abdul Halim Iskandar.

PKB supported Muhaimin Iskandar as Anies Baswedan's vice presidential candidate, who competed against Prabowo and Gibran.

Furthermore, several other ministers who were observed to be absent from the iftar at the Palace included Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Education, Culture, Research and Technology Minister Nadiem Makarim, and Chief Cultural Affairs Minister Muhadjir Effendy.

"(Ministers who did not attend) have duties in regions and abroad," said Budi after the event.

When asked whether some absent ministers had sought permission from Jokowi, he then asked journalists not to dramatize the situation. "I think so. Let's not dramatize it, whether they come or not," he said.

The iftar event began with the recitation of Quranic verses and was followed by a sermon from Ma'ruf Amin. After Ma'ruf Amin's sermon, the event continued with a sermon and collective prayer led by Kyai from Islamic School Ora Aji Jogja, Gus Miftah.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/jokowi-and-prabowo-bond-pdip-and-pkb-ministers-absent-from-cabinet-ramadan-gatherin