A few interesting stories on Indonesia’s next foreign minister this week.
First off, The Jakarta Globe ran a story essentially arguing that current foreign minister Marty Natalegawa should remain in his post when Jokowi announces his cabinet lineup in October.
That Marty is a frontrunner is no surprise. Many credited him with maintaining, if not raising, Indonesia’s regional and global profile under president Yudhoyono. A recent poll conducted by the Jokowi Center, a volunteer network, puts Marty as the most popular candidate for the post under Jokowi’s first term.
But today, in an op-ed for The Jakarta Post, former Ambassador to Switzerland and PAN lawmaker Djoko Susilo argued that the foreign ministry’s institutional development has been in decline under Marty’s tenure. The article also gave an insider’s perspective on the bureaucratic challenges running a foreign ministry with global ambitions supporter by a budget of only around $550 million (for details on the foreign ministry reform under Marty’s predecessor, Hassan Wirajuda, see Greta Nabbs-Keller’s paper)
Meanwhile, current deputy foreign minister Dino Patti Djalal (former ambassador to the US and presidential candidate hopeful), said today that he would be willing to serve as foreign minister “if the Republic calls me.”
Aside from these two names, there are other candidates swirling around the Jakarta rumor mill.
A few career diplomats stand out: Arif Havas Oegroseno, Yuri Octavian Thamrin, and Dian Triansyah Djani, and Retno Marsudi. While all them are senior diplomats (they have held ambassadorhips and director general posts in the foreign ministry), rumor has it that Oegroseno is high on the list because of his international law of the sea (UNCLOS) expertise befitting Jokowi’s ‘global maritime axis’ doctrine (see here and here for his writing on Indonesia’s position in the South China Sea).
Outside of the ministry, other names have come up, including Andreas Hugo Pareira (PDIP’s DPP head for defense and international relations and former MP for Commission I with a PhD in IR from Germany), Rizal Sukma (Executive Director of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies with a PhD from LSE), and Hikmahanto Juwana (a University of Indonesia international law professor with a PhD from Nottingham).