Jokowi says has interviewed all candidates and decided on Cabinet

Indonesia's president-elect Joko Widodo (left) and his vice president-elect Jusuf Kalla laugh while speaking to the media at their transition headquarters in Jakarta on Sept 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Indonesia's president-elect Joko Widodo (left) and his vice president-elect Jusuf Kalla laugh while speaking to the media at their transition headquarters in Jakarta on Sept 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (Reuters, Jakarta Post/Asia News Network) - New Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said he had finalised his choices for Cabinet jobs.

He revealed on Tuesday that along with Vice President Jusuf Kalla, he had interviewing all ministerial candidates, a process that lasted from Monday evening through the early dawn hours on Tuesday.

He added that he had finalised the composition of his Cabinet, but declined to disclose the names of the ministers.

"I summoned all (ministerial candidates) until 3am (on Tuesday). If you were here (at the State Palace), you would know who they were," he was quoted by kompas.com as saying.

He also declined to say exactly when he would make the announcement.

"As soon as possible," he said.

Jokowi had to re-evaluate some of his choices after an anti-graft agency raised concern about possible problems with some candidates.

Jokowi, who won a closely fought July election on promises of clean government, will want to avoid the same type of corruption scandals that tainted his predecessor's final term in office. Three of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's ministers were implicated in corruption cases.

Jokowi, who took office on Monday, submitted a list of candidates to fill his cabinet of 33 ministers to two government watchdogs. The list has not been made public.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) considered some candidates on Jokowi's list "problematic" or "potentially problematic", Zulkarnain, the KPK's deputy chairman, was quoted as saying in the Jakarta Post newspaper.

Jokowi had been expected to announce his cabinet as early as Tuesday. He has said he would have 18 technocrats and 15 political appointees in the line-up.

All eyes are on Jokowi's choices to head the main economic ministries. They will inherit problems in South-east Asia's biggest economy ranging from a widening current account deficit and cooling investment to the slowest growth since 2009.

Jokowi has been tight lipped on his cabinet picks, but two advisers told Reuters on Saturday that former Astra International chief Rini Soemarno was expected to be minister for state-owned enterprises.