Indonesian Agricultural Minister, who went missing for days after Europe trip, resigns

The minister was previously uncontactable after a working trip in Europe.

Keyla Supharta | October 06, 2023, 11:45 AM

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Indonesian Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo on Oct. 5 officially tendered his resignation to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) amid a corruption probe at his office, Antara news reported.

"I was given the opportunity by State Secretary Minister Pratikno to submit my resignation as Agriculture Minister," Limpo said at the Presidential Palace.

Lost contact

Just on Wednesday (Oct. 4), reports that contact with Limpo had been lost amid an investigation into corruption cases by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

He had left for a working trip in Europe on Sep. 24 and was scheduled to return to Indonesia by Oct. 1.

On the evening of Oct. 4, the 68-year-old former Agricultural Minister arrived at Soekarno Hatta Airport, Jakarta.

It was reported that he would meet President Jokowi at the presidential palace in Jakarta on Oct. 5, supposedly to convey his request to resign directly.

"I hope [the news] won't disturb the President's performance in the slightest, it's better for me to take a gesture like this," said Limpo after delivering his resignation letter to the Ministry of State Secretariat, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.

Limpo hopes that he will not be judged by the public due to his status as a suspect in the corruption probe. He promised to clear himself of the accusations.

One NasDem seat remaining in Jokowi's cabinet

There is only one seat remaining for the NasDem Party in Jokowi's cabinet after Limpo's resignation.

Jokowi allocated three seats to the NasDem Party in his cabinet after he won the 2019 presidential election.

The three NasDem representatives were Johnny G. Plate as the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Limpo as the Minister of Agriculture, and Siti Nurbaya Bakar as the Minister of Environment and Forestry.

On May 20 2023, Jokowi removed Johnny from his position. He was replaced by Budi Arie Setiadi, described by Nikkei Asia as a Jokowi loyalist.

Jokowi will be leaving his office in October next year, following the upcoming Indonesian presidential election in February 2024.

Top image via Syahrul Yasin Limpo/Facebook.