JAKARTA – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has dismissed Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Minister Arcandra Tahar, appointed to the post only 20 days ago, after he was found holding a US citizenship.
Local media today quoted State Secretariat Minister Pratikno as saying the decision to drop Arcandra was made yesterday evening after it was confirmed the minister held dual citizenship since 2012.
“After obtaining information on ESDM Minister Arcandra Tahar from various sources, the president decided to dismiss him from his position as ESDM minister,” he said.
Arcandra was among six new ministers appointed in a cabinet reshuffle on July 27 and he replaced Sudirman Said who was dropped after joining Joko’s cabinet for almost two years.
According to law 12/2006 on citizenship, Indonesia does not practise dual citizenship and any of its citizens who takes the oath or switches citizenship, that person will automatically lose his Indonesian citizenship.
It is also a condition for ministers to be appointed from among Indonesian nationals only.
Arcandra, 46, who holds a doctorate in oceanic engineering, moved to the US many years ago and had worked as the president of an oil and gas engineering company in Houston.
Pratikno said Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan would be acting as ESDM minister until a new appointment was made. – BERNAMA