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Jokowi reinstalls Amran Sulaiman as agriculture minister

Jakarta Post - October 25, 2023

Yerica Lai, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo appointed on Wednesday more loyalists to several strategic positions including the post of agriculture minister, which was left vacant after Syahrul Yasin Limpo resigned over a corruption probe into the ministry.

In a ceremony on Wednesday at the State Palace, the President named Amran Sulaiman as the new agriculture minister to replace Syahrul, a politician of the NasDem Party that is backing opposition figurehead Anies Baswedan and his running mate Muhaimin Iskandar for the 2024 election.

This marks a comeback for Amran, whose education and the bulk of his career has revolved around agriculture and who returns to the same position he held from 2014 to 2019 during Jokowi's first term.

Amran is a longtime Jokowi supporter who coordinated the Friends of the People in Eastern Indonesia supporters' group during Jokowi's 2014 election campaign.

He also donated money to Jokowi's campaign in his former role as president director of the Tiran Group, a diversified business conglomerate with interests in agriculture, trade, industry and mining.

Shortly after winning in 2014, Jokowi recognized Amran's support with an appointment as agriculture minister in his first-term cabinet. Amran survived two successive cabinet reshuffles in 2015 and 2016, despite early rumors that he would be replaced.

Amran, an independent who is unaffiliated with any political party, recently forged close ties with presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, who has pledged to continue President Jokowi's policies and programs.

Amran and Prabowo have met several times over the past few months, culminating in the retired general hinting in early August that Amran, an agriculture expert, could help him with his presidential campaign.

Also at Wednesday's ceremony, the President promoted Lt. Gen. Agus Subiyanto, a former commander of the Presidential Security Detail (Paspampres), from Army deputy chief of staff to Army chief of staff to replace Gen. Dudung Abdurachman, who retires next month.

Prior to his 2022 appointment as the Army deputy chief of staff, Agus served as the Paspampres commander in 2020-2021. He previously served as the Surakarta District Command (Kodim) commander in 2009-2011, when Jokowi was the Surakarta mayor.

Before his inauguration on Wednesday, speculation had been rife that Agus could be next in line for the post of Indonesian Military (TNI) commander, as the term of the incumbent TNI commander Adm. Yudo Margono ends this year.

The strategic post of Army chief of staff is widely seen as a stepping stone to an appointment as TNI commander.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2023/10/25/jokowi-reinstalls-amran-sulaiman-as-agriculture-minister.htm