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TNI chief against giving military voting right JAKARTA - National Defense Forces (TNI) Chief Admiral Agus Suhartono said he was afraid allowing servicemen to vote in the 2014 general elections would only cause divisions among the military.

"I think, our servicemen are not yet ready for it. If they are given the voting right, I am afraid it will only cause divisions in the rank and file and disturb the existing good situation," he said after closing a Commander Cup shooting competition 2011 in Cilodong, Depok, West Java, on Monday.

He said based on the results of a survey on regional elections, people were not yet ready to allow TNI members to vote in the 2014 general elections. "They will certainly try to draw us (servicemen) into supporting this or that party. In the context of security, it will make it difficult for TNI members to remain neutral," he said.

He said there were two things that need to be considered with regard to giving the voting right to TNI , namely the TNI`s and the people`s readiness for it. These two factors needed to be taken into consideration so as not to disrupt the TNI`s solidity and draw its members into partisan politics, he said.

"So, the two parties must first be ready for it," he said. He said however that if the House of Representatives (DPR) and the government jointly decided to give TNI the voting right, TNI would abide by it. "But my view for now is like that," he said.

TNI Inspector General Vice Marshal Sukirno had said that it would be better for TNI to remain neutral because its involvement in the general elections could erode its professionalism. "It would be better for TNI to be neutral. Involvment in politics will only affect our neutrality," he said.

He said if TNI was involved in the general elections the neutrality of TNI members would be more or less affected while the commitment of the TNI commander was remainng non-partisan.

He said TNI would give its views on the General Elections Bill committee if it was given the voting right. "What is clear is the main task of TNI is maintaining the territorial integrity of the unitary state of Indonesia. If the extension of the right will disturb the implementation of the task it would be better if TNI remains neutral," he said.

The committee has expressed its plan to raise the issue of TNI`s voting right. The issue was raised during a hearing in which the committee had suggested that the TNI be given the voting right. Several factions had also started proposing it citing problems in the regions met during general election implementation due to geographical conditions such as transportation and politicization.


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Related blog entries (category 'Military') Tags: voting, right, army, elections


Posted in Military @ 22 November 2011 11:31 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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