Yudhoyono Asks Ministers Busy with Presidential Election to Resign

JAKARTA ~

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked his ministers to resign if they cannot perform their primary duties because they are busy with the presidential and vice presidential election campaign rallies.

“If (the ministers) can no longer handle their ministries due to their busy activities prior to the presidential election, I let them resign,” he told a coordinating meeting in Bogor, West Java, on Tuesday.

He, however, said he still will allow his cabinet members to take a one-day leave on weekdays, in addition to their right to take holidays on Saturdays and Sundays but they should remain cautious about their main duties. “They must also get rid of a conflict of interest,” he added.

President Yudhoyono further said he will chair a plenary cabinet meeting on Wednesday to ensure that all ministers keep focusing on their jobs, and he will present the result of his evaluation of his cabinet members’ performance in the meeting.

President Yudhoyono has directed those in charge of the July 9 presidential election to secure the democratic process and prevent election frauds, election-related violence and communal riots from occurring.

The coordinating meeting was attended by, among others, governors, chiefs of districts, city mayors, and representatives of the National Defence Force and the National Police in the country.

The General Election Commission (KPU) has announced that Probowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa and Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla are the Indonesian presidential and vice presidential candidates, who will compete in the July 9 presidential election.

During the election number draw at the KPU headquarters on Sunday, Prabowo-Hatta got number 1 on the ballot papers, while their opponents received number 2 for the presidential election.

The Prabowo-Hatta pair is supported by the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the Golkar Party, the United Development Party (PPP), and the Crescent and Star Party (PBB), while the Jokowi-Kalla pair is supported by five political parties.

They consist of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), the National Democratic Party (Nasdem), the National Awakening Party (PKB), the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura) and the Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI).

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