Lenny Tristia Tambun, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi' Widodo has appointed his secretary Heru Budi Hartono as the acting Jakarta governor to replace Anies Baswedan whose term expires on October 16, the capital city's top councilor said on Friday.
Both men have been working together since Jokowi was elected as the Jakarta governor in 2012. Heru headed the provincial finance and asset management during Jokowi's governorship until 2014 when his boss ran in the presidential race and won.
His appointment was confirmed by Jakarta Legislative Council Speaker Prasetyo Edi Marsudi. "That [information] is valid," Prasetyo told reporters.
Heru is one of three candidates proposed by the council to replace Anies. If confirmed, he will become the acting governor until the gubernatorial election in 2024.
Prasetyo said the decision was taken during a meeting to discuss the final assessment of the three candidates who also included Jakarta Provincial Government Secretary Marullah Matali and Home Affairs Ministry's Public Governance and Political Affairs Director General Bahtiar.
The meeting was led by the president.
Home Affairs Ministry spokesman Benni Irwan neither denied nor confirmed Heru's appointment.
"We are waiting for the presidential decree that will be issued next week because whoever is installed as the governor will be based on the decree," kata Benni said.
But Benni confirmed that the meeting discussing the president's pick for the acting Jakarta governor among the three candidates did take place earlier in the day.
Separately, Anies welcomed the decision and promised his support for Heru. "We are thankful that the man who will be on the job knows well about Jakarta," Anies said.