Apriza Pinandita and Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The House of Representative's Commission I overseeing foreign affairs started on Tuesday fit and proper tests for Indonesian ambassadorial candidates to fill numerous diplomatic posts across the globe.
Commission I lawmaker Dave Laksono said the screening would examine various factors, including the approach the candidates would use in performing their duties in their respective posts and their commitment to strengthening bilateral relations between Indonesia and its counterparts.
"The fit and proper tests will be conducted over a period of three days," Dave told The Jakarta Post in a text message on Tuesday.
"On Thursday, we [screening committee] will have another internal meeting to discuss the results of the tests," he added.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo submitted to the House the names of 31 ambassadorial candidates last month. While most are career diplomats from the Foreign Ministry some are political appointees, ranging from politicians, to media figures and supporters of Jokowi during his reelection campaign last year.
One of the candidates is Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) politician Heri Akhmadi, who is expected to serve as Indonesian ambassador to Japan and Micronesia. A senior politician, Heri has previously been elected as a House lawmaker for three terms.
Another candidate is Roem Kono, a Golkar Party politician who has been nominated to serve as Indonesia's top diplomat in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Two other politicians on the list are Crescent Star Party (PBB) deputy chairman Sukmo Harsono, the ambassador candidate to Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, as well as Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI) treasurer Iwan Bogananta, nominated to be the top envoy to Bulgaria, Albania and Macedonia.
The other political appointees include former trade minister M Luthfi as the ambassador candidate to the United States and former Metro TV chief editor Suryopratomo, who has been proposed to serve as Indonesia's top diplomat in Singapore.
Meanwhile, senior career diplomats set to depart for ambassadorial posts include the Foreign Ministry's director general for ASEAN affairs, Jose Tavares, who is expected to assume the diplomatic post in Russia, and the ministry's inspector general, Rachmat Budiman, who is represent the country in Thailand.
Lutfi Rauf, currently the deputy head for foreign policy at the Office of the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister, will fill the ambassadorial post in Egypt, while the ambassadorships to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the European Union will all go to senior career diplomats Desra Percaya, Mayerfas and Andri Hadi, respectively.