Indonesian vice presidential candidate Mahfud MD said that he would resign from his position as the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Kompas reported.
The decision was made so Mahfud could fully commit to his role as a vice presidential candidate and avoid conflicts of interest.
"At the right time, I will definitely submit my resignation amicably," said Mahfud, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.
Mahfud expressed his intention to step down from his cabinet at a live broadcast event held in Semarang, Central Java, on Tuesday (Jan. 23) night.
He said that he did not resign from his position previously to demonstrate good ethics as a state official, stressing that he did not abuse his power or resources for campaign purposes.
"I thank [President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo] who appointed me four and a half years ago as coordinating minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs," Mahfud said, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.
Avoid conflict of interest
Earlier on Tuesday (Jan. 23), former Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo said that Mahfud would resign from his position to avoid conflict of interest in the 2024 presidential election.
Ganjar, who is also Mahfud's running mate, said that conflict of interest arises when public officials are also involved in political contestation such as the 2024 elections.
Ganjar said there have been several cases of public officials using state resources and facilities for their political campaign, though they will cover it up under the pretext of official work.
He may have been referring to a recent incident where the Indonesian defence ministry was reported to the election commission for reportedly tweeting a message with a pro-Prabowo hashtag.
Appreciates Mahfud's decision to resign
President Jokowi said that he appreciates Mahfud's decision to resign from his position, CNN Indonesia reported.
Including Mahfud, three of the candidates eyeing for the top job in the 2024 elections still hold official positions in government.
Prabowo Subianto is currently serving as the country's defence minister while his running mate, Gibran Rakabumin Raka, is still serving as the Mayor of Surakarta.
Indonesia is less than a month away from the election which will see more than 205 million people voting for their next leaders.
Top image via Mahfud MD/Facebook.