Indonesian energy minister dismissed for dual citizenship

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo dismissed a recently appointed Cabinet minister on Monday for holding dual citizenship.

Arcandra Tahar, who became minister of energy and mineral resources last month, was sacked following questions about his citizenship status.

Under Indonesian law, Cabinet ministers must hold Indonesian citizenship.

State Secretary Pratikno announced that Jokowi made the decision after obtaining information about Tahar's citizenship.

"Responding to public questions regarding the citizenship status of Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arcandra Tahar, and after receiving information from various sources, the president decided to dismiss with honor Arcandra Tahar from his position," said Pratikno, who uses one name.

He said Jokowi appointed Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan as acting energy and mineral resources minister until a new one is named.

Tahar, 45, spent more than 20 years in the United States and reportedly has both U.S. and Indonesian passports. He entered Indonesia using the Indonesian one when he was summoned home by Jokowi to take the post.

He was one of nine new ministers appointed by Jokowi in his second Cabinet reshuffle in July.

Tahar served as president of Houston-based offshore technologies and consulting company Petroneering before returning to Indonesia.

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