Indonesia president urges military to stay out of politics

07-Oct-2017 Intellasia | News Observer | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Indonesia’s army retreated from politics after the fall of dictator Suharto in 1998 ushered in democracy, but nearly two decades later a role limited to national defense is not fully accepted among officers or the rank-and-file. It has tried to inch back into civilian areas and resented the police’s leading role in counter-terrorism.

Jokowi’s predecessor as president was a former general, as was his main rival in the 2014 presidential election, Prabowo Subianto.

Nurmantyo, who local media say might harbor ambitions to run for president in 2019, last month attended an Islamic political party event at which he warned that communists a boogeyman frequently invoked by Indonesian conservatives were a renewed threat.

Earlier in the month, the four-star general claimed that a government institution tried to import 5,000 guns “on behalf” of Jokowi. The president’s top security minister said the national intelligence service had ordered several hundred rifles from a state-owned weapons company for training purposes.

(AP)

Thursday’s parade in the coastal West Java city of Cilegon comprised nearly 6,000 soldiers and Indonesia’s most modern imported weaponry.

In a speech at the parade, Nurmantyo said soldiers are sworn to protect the Indonesian people and obey the president. “Do not doubt our loyalty,” he said.

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article177141086.html

 


Tags:

Category: Indonesia

Print This Post