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Politics

Widodo pins economic hopes on big cabinet reshuffle

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, managing director of the World Bank

JAKARTA -- Indonesia President Joko Widodo on Wednesday surprised the nation by reshuffling his cabinet, replacing his economic team almost entirely.

Perhaps the biggest shock is the return of Sri Mulyani Indrawati, managing director of the World Bank, to her old role as the country's finance minister.

Nine ministers were replaced, and four others changed posts.

Indrawati replaces Bambang Brodjonegoro, who was made national development planning minister.

An economist, Indrawati served as Indonesia's finance minister from 2005 to 2010, in addition to being the coordinating minister for the economy in 2008 and 2009. She held these posts during the presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

During those five years, she steered Southeast Asia's largest economy as the nation transitioned from autocracy to democracy.

Widodo made other major changes to his economic team in the second cabinet reshuffle since he took office nearly two years ago.

Thomas Lembong has been replaced as trade minister by Enggartiasto Lukita, a businessman and a politician with the National Democratic Party. Industry Minister Saleh Husin has been replaced by Golkar Party politician Airlangga Hartarto. And Energy Minister Sudirman Said has been replaced by Archandra Tahar, a U.S.-based oil consultant.

The new lineup comes with Indonesia's economy growing more slowly than expected -- at a 4.92% pace in the first quarter. It also comes with Widodo making slow progress in his ambitious infrastructure push.

"We have to strengthen the national economy to face the challenges of the global economy, which is slowing down and is rife with competition," Widodo said in a speech announcing the new cabinet members at the presidential palace in the capital. "We need speed in actions and decision making. We need to take actions whose outcomes can be immediately enjoyed by the people over the short and long terms."

Acknowledging there has been conflict in his cabinet, the president added he wants "a solid team" that can work "maximally and effectively ... for immediate, concrete results."

The new ministers were to be sworn in later on Wednesday during a ceremony at the palace. Their first cabinet meeting was to immediately follow.

The reshuffled cabinet accommodates politicians from the Golkar Party and the National Mandate Party -- the youngest members of the pro-government coalition. Some observers, however, say these political appointments are minor compared with the strength that the appointed professionals bring to the team.

Indonesia's new cabinet members

Coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs -- Wiranto

Finance minister -- Sri Mulyani Indrawati    

Trade minister -- Enggartiasto Lukita

Industry minister -- Airlangga Hartarto

Energy minister -- Archandra Tahar

Transportation minister -- Budi Karya Sumadi

Minister for disadvantaged regions -- Eko Putro Sandjojo

Education minister -- Muhadjir Effendy

Minister for administrative reforms -- Asman Abnur

Members with new portfolios

Coordinating minister for maritime affairs -- Luhut Binsar Panjaitan (formerly chief political minister)

Minister for national development planning -- Bambang Brodjonegoro (formerly finance minister)

Agrarian and spatial planning minister -- Sofyan Djalil (formerly national development planning minister)

Head of the Investment Coordinating Board -- Thomas Lembong (formerly trade minister)

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