Jakarta – Surya Paloh, the chairman of the NasDem Party, met with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Thursday as political parties in the ruling coalition expected the President to announce another Cabinet shake-up soon.
"Yes, the meeting took place yesterday [Thursday] afternoon," Bey Machmudin, the State Secretariat's deputy for protocol, press and the media said on Friday, as quoted by Kompas.com.
Earlier, a number of senior NasDem politicians also confirmed that their chairman had held an hour-long meeting with the President.
Sugeng Suparwoto, a member of the party's central board, said the meeting should be seen as an indication that Surya and Jokowi continued to maintain an amicable relationship.
"There's no problem with Pak [Mr.] Surya. His position is clear. I can attest that NasDem will [stay with] the coalition until 2024," Sugeng said, as quoted by Kompas.com.
Surya's meeting with Jokowi, a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), comes amid speculation that another Cabinet reshuffle is in the offing.
If he does, it will be the fourth in as many years, with the last reshuffle occurring on June 15, 2022.
Parties of the ruling coalition, especially the PDI-P, have called for the removal of ministers hailing from NasDem, following the party's decision to nominate former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan as its 2024 presidential candidate.
Observers expect Jokowi to remove three NasDem ministers in his Cabinet.
Thursday's meeting between Surya and Jokowi also came after a photo surfaced, showing the NasDem chairman meeting with Coordinating Minister for Investment and Maritime Affairs Luhut Panjaitan in London.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (left) and NasDem Party chairman Surya Paloh gesture during a meeting on Nov. 22, 2018.