Susilo planning Indonesian cabinet

Former general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is set to become Indonesia's president next month, has been discussing presidential plans with visitors at his home.

    Susilo is keen to fill his cabinet with professionals

    Even though he has yet to declare victory after Indonesia's first direct vote for a leader, Susilo and his advisers continued with preparations to take power on 20 October.

    On Wednesday, Susilo met high school teachers and unemployed workers at his home in the West Java regency of Bogor.

    Susilo asked the teachers their views on his cabinet choice.

    "Who do you think is the most suitable person to become education minister?" Susilo asked.

    The teachers suggested several names varying from a bureaucrat to a high-profile school principal.

    "He was so authoritative, so firm. I am very happy to be able to talk with him," said physics teacher Siswanti.
    Asked about education in Aceh, the far northwest province where troops are fighting to end a long-simmering separatist rebellion, Susilo said he would improve education and welfare, and believed peace would come during his five-year term.

    "The solution must be comprehensive; it doesn't necessarily prioritise military operations," Susilo said.


    Megawati is trailing behind with
    just 39% of the votes so far

    Susilo - once Megawati Sukarnoputri's top security minister - has pledged to fill his cabinet with professionals, but has also said he wanted reconciliation with the opposing camp after months of gruelling battle for the top job.

    An early apparent cabinet choice was his opponent's running mate, Muslim cleric Hasyim Muzadi, who said he had received an offer to fill the post of religion minister, but had turned it down.

    "I have apologised that I could not accept that position because I want to go back to my habitat, the pesantren community," Muzadi said late on Tuesday, referring to the Indonesian-style Islamic boarding school system.

    Muzadi is a moderate who has denounced the orchestrated bombings in the world's most populous Muslim country in recent years.

    The latest attack, a bombing that killed nine people in front of the Australian embassy in Jakarta, came 11 days before the 20 September presidential run-off.

    Susilo leads incumbent Megawati by 61% to 39%, with more than 80% of the estimated total ballots tallied.

    Susilo has not officialy claimed victory and Megawati's camp has said she will not comment until the announcement of results on 5 October.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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