In a surprising turn of events, Mahfud MD, the coordinating minister for politics, law, and security in President Joko Widodo’s cabinet, has submitted his resignation, sparking speculations of ‘discomfort’ within the Palace just weeks before the 2024 presidential election.
Mahfud MD met with President Joko Widodo to formally discuss his resignation. The resignation letter, submitted on February 1st at 16:30 WIB, expressed gratitude to the president and cited Mahfud’s participation in the upcoming political contest as the reason for stepping down.
The same day witnessed the resignation of Deputy V Chief of Presidential Staff, Jaleswari Pramodhawardani, adding to the intrigue surrounding Palace dynamics. Mahfud MD emphasized the importance of ethics in his departure, hinting at a carefully managed process.
Impact of Resignation
Political observers, like Ujang Komarudin, consider Mahfud MD’s move appropriate, citing conflicts of interest in his dual roles. Despite late-stage resignation, Mahfud MD aims to strategically impact his electability in the run-up to the February 14, 2024, elections.
The State of Jokowi’s Cabinet
While some experts view the cabinet as calm, others, like Lely Arrianie, identify an “uncomfortable” atmosphere, especially for Mahfud MD. Reports suggest a lack of warmth and decreased involvement in cabinet affairs, raising questions about the cabinet’s overall dynamics.
PDIP Secretary General, Hasto Kristiyanto, acknowledges the discomfort but assures that ministers from his party will remain in the cabinet until the end of their term to avoid political instability.
Mahfud MD’s Successor
The identity of Mahfud MD’s replacement remains unknown, awaiting President Jokowi’s decision. The resignation press conference clarified that routine tasks are being handled by deputies under the supervision of Major General TNI Teguh Pudjo Rumekso, the Secretary of the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs.
As uncertainty looms, the political landscape in Indonesia braces for the repercussions of Mahfud MD’s resignation and the unfolding dynamics within President Jokowi’s cabinet.