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Jokowi asks opposition leader Prabowo to join Cabinet

Prabowo says that his Gerindra party will get a second post to be filled by Edhy Prabowo

Jakarta

INDONESIAN President Joko Widodo asked the nation's opposition leader to join a revamped Cabinet as he puts the South-east Asian nation on a path to become a US$7 trillion economy.

Prabowo Subianto, the president's challenger in the 2014 and 2019 elections, told reporters he was offered a ministerial post in the defence sector after meeting with Mr Widodo in Jakarta on Monday.

Jokowi, as the 58-year-old president is known, was sworn in for a second and final five-year term on Sunday, pledging to overhaul a host of laws hindering investment and job creation. He wants to boost the size of the US$1 trillion economy to US$7 trillion by 2045, and lift per capita income to 320 million rupiah (S$30,934) by then.

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Mr Prabowo, a former general, said he accepted Jokowi's offer to join the Cabinet and confirmed that his Gerindra party would get a second post to be filled by Edhy Prabowo, who is not related to the opposition leader.

"Today we were officially asked, and we have accepted," Mr Prabowo said, adding that he would "work as hard as possible" to achieve the targets and expectations set by the president.

Jokowi met with several high profile figures who may get Cabinet posts, including the following: Mr Prabowo, chairman of the Gerindra party; Nadiem Makarim, co-founder of Indonesia's first startup unicorn Gojek; Airlangga Hartarto, chairman of Golkar party and currently industry minister; Mohammad Mahfud Mahmodin, a former Constitutional Court judge; and Erick Thohir, a successful businessman who spearheaded the president's election campaign team.

Jokowi said that he is looking for fresh energy in his new team, which is expected to be announced and sworn in Wednesday. REUTERS