Indonesian president warns against military meddling in election

Jakarta – Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday warned senior military officers against intending to support certain president candidate running in the upcoming July 9 presidential election, saying that it may stray reform movement and jeopardizes the nation.

Citing confirmed intelligence information, the president said that there has been efforts conducted by some senior military officers luring their colleagues to back up certain president candidate.

“The neutrality of the military and police must be preserved. Don’t make a step back against it, don’t ruin it. Don’t betray the reform in military and police institutions which we uneasily initiated it at that time,” the president spoke in a session with senior military officers in the defense ministry here.

The president warned the senior military officers, asking them to guard against temptation from external parties luring them to take part in political constellation.

“They even asked the senior military officers not to listen to the president as he is the president of a sinking ship, and better find the other president,” the president said.

The president pointed out if those officers plan to take part in politics, they would have to resign first from the military or police services.

Indonesia will have a new government after the legislative and presidential elections in April and July this year, replacing the administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who served two maximum five-year terms beginning in 2004.

Indonesian military and police were widely believed to have played a role in supporting the administration of then-president Soeharto, who had hold the presidency for more than 30 years before being ousted by a nationwide student uprising in May 1998. Source: Xinhua

Photo:  Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono