TNI chief will allow active officers to run in regional elections

Tempo Interactive – April 27, 2005
TNI chief General Endriartono Sutarto (Tribune)
TNI chief General Endriartono Sutarto (Tribune)

Agus Supriyanto, Jakarta – TNI (armed forces) chief General Endriartono Sutarto has again said that he will allow active TNI members to be nominated to run in regional elections. If they were not given permission to do this he said, he would be violating the law.

“By not given permission, I would be contravening the law which does not prohibit (active TNI officers from being nominated as regional government heads)”, Sutarto told journalists following the TNI’s Combined Annual Report Meeting with Singapore’s armed forces chief at the Hotel Hilton in Jakarta on Wednesday April 27.

Sutarto said that the TNI couldn’t nominate a person to become a regional head saying that a political party can only do it. He explained however, that “We adhere to the legislation which gives the right to active TNI [officers] to participate in the nomination process. [But] they must [first] be released from structural duties and be non-active temporarily”.

If there is a perception that a TNI officers’ right to be nominated as a regional head undermines democracy he said, what must revised first is the legislation. He explained however that if the legislation is not changed political parties do not necessarily have to nominate active TNI officers.

According to Sutarto, this is the best option because in any case the TNI cannot offer candidates to political parties.

[Translated by James Balowski.]