JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo is widely tipped to announce a cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, according to media reports, with the trade portfolio among the ministerial posts expected to be changed.
Speculation of a ministerial shake-up has grown in recent days, particularly after several ministers were summoned to the presidential palace on Tuesday.
The Koran Tempo newspaper cited sources saying a reshuffle would be announced on Wednesday afternoon, though Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.
Among ministers summoned to the palace on Tuesday were Coordinating Economics Minister Airlangga Hartarto, Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi, and Agrarian and Spatial Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil.
The National Mandate Party chairman, Zulkifli Hasan, and former military chief, Hadi Tjahjanto, were among non-cabinet members also summoned.
Analysts say the trade minister could be among those replaced after coming under political pressure over the handling of policy efforts to contain a surge in domestic cooking oil.
Minister Lutfi had blamed a “palm oil mafia” for undermining efforts to contain cooking oil prices after bringing in a surprise ban on palm oil exports in April.
The export ban, since lifted, caused shockwaves on global markets and led to a series of arrests for alleged corruption.
The president may also look to appoint a member from the National Mandate Party (PAN), which joined the ruling coalition earlier last year, political observers say.
A poll conducted by Charta Politika, which was released on Monday and interviewed 1,200 people from May 25-June 2, showed that 63.1% of respondents supported a proposal to reshuffle the current cabinet.
(Writing by Kate Lamb; Editing by Ed Davies)