Generals To Rum For Governor, How Are Their Opportunity?
There have been at least five active police and military generals who have been touted as potential candidates for regional leadership. The National Police’s education and training devision deputy chief Insp. Gen. Anton Charliyan had been touted as a potential West Java governor or deputy governor candidate while North Sumatera Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw is set to join Papua’s gubernatorial race with support from the Golkar party in Papua. The National Police’s Mobile Brigade (Brimob) chief Insp. Gen. Murad Ismail will run in the gubernatorial elections in Mollucas through the Golkar party, which will be one of 171 regions to elect new leaders in the upcoming regional elections next year.
From the military, there are at least two generals expected to run for governor. Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad) commander. Lt. Gen. Edy Rahmayadi has decided to run for North Sumatera governor, who would resign by the time the General Elections Commission (KPU) North Sumatera opened the registration window elections in January 2018.
Meanwhile, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) is reportedly considering to endorse Jakarta’s Military Commander Maj. Gen. Jaswandi, who is set to retire in March next year, as a candidate for governor of Central Java.
The law states the police and military must be politically neutral. Personnel of the two forces do not have the right to vote or run in elections. Previously, both National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian and Indonesian Military commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo have asserted that the two corps would remain neutral ahead of the 2018 regional elections and the 2019 general election.
“We will not be involved in practical politics. We will not involved in any effort to campaign for any former members of the police running in the elections. Their candidacy will be their own business,”Tito said.
Tito said Murad so far been the only police general who had confirmed his intention to run for regional leadership. Murad has also been at the center of the ongoing controversy surrounding Brimob’s procurement of munitions that was criticized by the TNI for having excessive capabilities. “Paulus has eventually decided to call off his plan to run for Papua’s top set,” Tito further said.
Although the KPU has yet to open the application window for 2018 candidates, current generals actively engaging in politics ahead of the races prompted activists to voice concerns over potential ethical violations.
According to Mufti Makarim, the executive director of the Institute for Defense and Security Studies, while still in the positions, generals vying for regional leadership could potentially be in violation of abuse of power, such as using their influence for political purposes, violating the principle of fairness.
He asserted that the military and police officers should leave their position immediately once they possess political ambition to run in elections. “Do not even approach political parties if officers are still active and wearing uniforms. In our democratic electoral system, elections are held to elect civilian leaders. So, the generals should keep that in mind during an election, they are no longer security officers and are equally civilian with other candidates,” Mufti said.
I think the political stance of the Golkar party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) to elect their next gubernatorial candidates have been shown that any possibilities if the Golkar party and PKS party didn’t have an internal party qualified cadre whose could be nominated as their candidates run in next regional elections.
However and politically, the candidacy of qualified intern cadre will be better to do by political party because the purely civilian leaders will be more attractive than retired generals both police and military. If political party will be nominated their cadre to run in elections, its will be shown the maturity of political party itself.
The opportunity of generals who run in next regional elections is still quite strong but some of academia will be advised that the outcome of next regional elections have been dominating by qualified and tested leaders from the public figures who have a common perception about the challenge which must be faced by Indonesian millenial’s generation.
I think the voters of the next regional elections will be more smarter than ever and they will chose their next leaders whose understanding and willing to facing the next challenges which may be did not same with the type of challenge which could be handled by former generals.
*) Airla, Director of Strategic Assessment, Jakarta.