To help ordinary Indonesians have a voice in his cabinet selections, President-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is turning to social media.
The idea to solicit public opinion via an online poll came from campaign volunteers like Jakarta resident Pramono Hadi Wibowo.
"We have a larger population of internet users, including those on social media . At least 70 million Indonesians are on social media," he told Khabar South Asia. "It is also practical and more efficient to learn people’s opinions."
The poll, "People's Choice for an Alternative Cabinet", is available via Jokowi's Twitter account () and on hisFacebookpage. Jokowi is scheduled to be sworn in October 20th as Indonesia's seventh president .
University of Indonesia student Indira Sulistyo is one of 85,000 people who participated in the poll as of Friday (August 1st).
"I thought it is an interesting approach and easy to adopt," she told Khabar.
University of Indonesia graduate student Rukwianti Sari was more enthusiastic.
"I think this is a great idea. He can get closer to the people and listen to what we want. In this case, social media can bring people's voices to the front," she told Khabar.
"It is embracing our democracy. It allows us to give more opportunities for voices to be heard. For example, as a student, I can share with Jokowi who I think would be good for the position of Indonesian Minister of Education."
The poll, listing three candidates for each cabinet position and with space for write-ins, includes names of public figures from different backgrounds, including academics, current ministers and politicians from Jokowi's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) party.
People's Conscience Party (Hanura) chairman Wiranto said the online poll is not only an opportunity to identify potential cabinet members, but also a good way to open dialogue and address public concerns.
"It is a good virtual public space. I am sure with this system people can be more open to express their ideas," he told Khabar.
Pratikno , a Gadjah Mada University government studies professor in Yogyakarta,said Jokowi's strategy is brilliant.
"With this poll, he actually can communicate and consult with his constituents. It is a good practice for democracy," Pratikno told Khabar. "Jokowi may also go deeper with this method. He has an opportunity to discuss with the public what the ideal criteria for each position are."