The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has questioned concerns over a proposal to appoint high-ranking police officers as acting governors in two of the country's provinces holding 2018 concurrent regional elections.
The recommendation, proposed by Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, is to appoint two two-star police generals to become acting governors in North Sumatra and West Java. The decision immediately drew criticism, with many saying it compromised the police's neutrality during the elections.
Jokowi, who is yet to approve the proposal, said many appeared to have approached the issue with prejudice and negative thinking, while at the same time, the President himself has not yet received an official proposal from Tjahjo.
"Up until now, [the proposal] has not yet arrived on my desk, so I don't want to comment on it yet," Jokowi told journalists on Wednesday.
Last Week, Tjahjo issued a recommendation to Jokowi to appoint the National Police's head of internal affairs, Insp. Gen. Martuani Sormin, as acting North Sumatra governor, and the National Police's chief operational assistant, Insp. Gen. Mochammad Iriawan, as acting West Java governor.
They would fill the vacant positions left by current North Sumatra Governor Tengku Erry Nuradi and West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan, whose tenures end in June, before the elections.
North Sumatra and West Java are both among the biggest and most crucial provinces set to hold gubernatorial contests. Tjahjo argued that the ministry had proposed the active police generals for security reasons.