Jokowi tells military, police to maintain neutrality in upcoming elections
Safrin La Batu
The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo told leaders of the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police on Tuesday to maintain their neutrality during this year's regional elections (Pilkada) and the presidential election next year.
"The President's main emphasis is to have us, the police and the military, maintain neutrality," National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian told reporters after Jokowi gave his speech in a closed-door meeting at TNI headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta.
Jokowi, however, refused to respond to journalists who tried to interview him when he left the meeting venue.
The meeting, which was attended by 359 military and police generals, marked security discussions ahead of the two elections, which are predicted to be marred by tensions, particularly in some of the 171 participating regions in the simultaneous Pilkada. Each of the two institutions is set to conduct a more detailed discussion separately after Tuesday's joint meeting.
"The President also instructed the police and the military to map conflict potential in the 171 regions […]," Tito added. "[And] to build synergy in dealing with those conflict potentials."
The General Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) previously launched a study of conflict potential during Pilkada and identified Papua and Maluku among the provinces with the highest conflict potential.
This year also sees a number of former police and military generals joining the election, such as former Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad) chief Lt. Gen. Edy Rahmayadi, who retired from the force to run in the North Sumatra gubernatorial election. (ipa)
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