Indonesian military to remain neutral in regional elections

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Armed Force (TNI) Chief, Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, affirmed here, Monday, that the TNI will remain neutral in the regional elections to be held later this year in line with the mandate of the Constitution.

Tjahjanto made the statement in response to a question by the press at the parliament building in connection with the home affairs minister's plan to appoint police and TNI officers to become acting governors to fill vacancies, as incumbents would participate in the elections.

"The TNI will remain neutral in line with the Constitution. Based on the law, the TNI must be neutral and not take sides," he emphasized.

Tjahjanto had already reaffirmed his stance during the TNI and police leadership meetings held earlier.

Speaking in connection with Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo's statement that the government will appoint TNI and police officers to serve as acting governors in some regions believed to be vulnerable to security problems, Tjahjanto clarified that the TNI will adhere to the laws.

Kumolo had noted in a press release on Friday that consultations were held with the TNI chief and police chief before the proposal was made.

"The proposal was made in view of the security threats. They will be stationed in regions considered prone to conflicts," the minister remarked.

He said the TNI and police officers had also been appointed during the regional elections in 2017 while referring to the appointment of General (Ret) Soedarmo as the acting governor of Aceh and Inspector General Carlo Brix Tewu for West Sulawesi.

At the time, Soedarmo was the director general of politics and general government administration, while Tewu was the fifth deputy for national security at the office of the coordinating minister for political, security, and legal affairs.

A total of 17 provinces, 39 cities, and 115 districts in Indonesia will hold elections simultaneously to elect new governors, city mayors, and district heads on June 27.

Source: ANTARA News

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