RealNews

Indonesia Military Helps Shape Elections

Indonesian generals, on the defensive since the ouster of the dictatorship they supported for 32 years, are becoming kingmakers again as the campaign for presidential and parliamentary elections heats up. And despite the danger that Indonesia’s young democracy is being undercut by its inability to rein in the military, candidates and political parties are courting the brass for endorsements. “The military is definitely back in a big way,” said Dede Oetomo, a professor at Airlangga University in Surabaya. Top commanders stress their troops will stay out of the fray. “The Indonesian military will remain neutral and not side or give support to any political party or to any presidential candidate, even if they have a military background or are retired military officers,” commander-in-chief Gen. Endriartono Sutarto promised. Full Story

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