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Wacik Likely to be Retained as Culture and Tourism Minister

Jero Wacik's Reappointment as Indonesian Minister of Culture and Tourism Appears Certain.

(10/19/2009) The general consensus in the Indonesian press is that, barring a surprise in the final list of ministers to serves in President Yudhoyono's next cabinet, Jero Wacik will be reappointed as Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism.

Currently undergoing "fit and Proper tests" required of all ministerial appointees that include final financial, physical and mental audits, Wacik's appointment will formally be announced as the President is sworn in on October 20, 2009, for his second and final five-year term by the Indonesian House of Representatives.

Wacik is a Balinese, hailing from the Kintimani, and a political activist from the Indonesian Democratic Party.

Although the formal announcement of his appointment has yet to be made, the fact that Wacik met with President Yudhoyono over the past weekend, that he is undergoing the required tests, and that others suggested for the tourism role have reportedly not been telephoned by Yudhoyono's staff all speak to the perceived inevitability of his reappointment as Minister of Culture and Tourism.

To meet a deadline imposed by Indonesia's election law, Wacik recently resigned his Ministerial post, in order to retain his elected post in the parliament. At the time of his resignation on September 20th, Wacik's certainty of a seat in the new cabinet was much less certain that now appears currently the case.

During Wacik's meeting with the President over the weekend, he was reportedly told to improve the image of Indonesia to increase revenues and tourist totals. Tempo Interaktif reports that the President specifically instructed Wacik to use the current filming in Bali of "Eat, Pray, Love" as a means of raising Indonesia's international visibility.