Indonesian president replaces social affairs minister
January 17, 2018 | 4:51 PM
by Reuters
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, right, shakes hands with the new social affairs minister Idrus Marham, left, as his wife Ridho Ekasari, centre, looks on, at a swearing in ceremony for new members of Widodo's cabinet at the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia on January 17, 2018. Photo - Reuters

Jakarta: Indonesian President Joko Widodo replaced the social affairs minister in his Cabinet on Wednesday and picked a new chief of staff in the third reshuffle of his five-year term.

The reshuffle was widely expected because some of Widodo's ministers have requested leaves of absence to stand in regional elections later this year.

However, with only one minister involved, it was more modest than some expectations.

The new social affairs minister is Idrus Marham, a member of Golkar, the second-largest party in Widodo's coalition. He replaces Khofifah Indar Parawansa, who is standing for election in East Java province.

Widodo also appointed a new chief of staff, Moeldoko, a retired military chief who uses only one name like many Indonesians.

Legislative and presidential elections will be held in 2019.

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