Jakarta – In Jakarta on Thursday December 25, army chief of staff General Ryamizard Ryacudu, explained that army intelligence has obtained indications that the 2004 elections will be tainted by disturbances. He gave the example of the 60,000 foreign agents from large foreign countries which are in Indonesia at the moment. According to Ryacudu this may disrupt the coming elections.
According to Ryacudu, in carrying out their duties the TNI (armed forces) always sees a worst case scenario in order to predict future situations. In order to safeguard the elections, the TNI is ready to be deployed if the festival of democracy is tainted with conflicts.
President Megawati Sukarnoputri has rejected the assessment by number of people who have said that the elections will be tainted by conflicts. “I [just] laughed, [about] the issue of a conflict, violence, [of it turning] bloody”, said the president when meeting with governors from across Indonesia at the state palace on Tuesday.
According to the president, the People’s Representative Assembly has already given maximum effort to organising the political system. This includes amending the 1945 Constitution in order that the people can directly elect the president and vice-president. “This is no joke. What’s lacking in the Constitution which has now been amended four time”, she exclaimed. (YYT/Dewvina Oktora dan Adi Iskarpandi)
[Translated by James Balowski.]