Defense Minister optimistic of safe presidential election

Defense Minister optimistic of safe presidential election

Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu (ANTARA/ Indrianto Eko Suwarso)

Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) - Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu expressed hope that the 2019 presidential election would run in a safe and orderly manner.

"Thank God. The simultaneous regional head elections on June 27, 2018, has been implemented in a safe and orderly manner. It demonstrates that our society can be obedient and orderly. I hope such a conducive situation would also be maintained in the presidential election," he noted during a briefing to some one thousand soldiers of the military command of Iskandar Muda in Banda Aceh, Aceh Province, on Wednesday.

Ryacudu, who is also the former Army chief of staff, noted that as long as there is no provocateur, the Indonesian people can act in an obedient and orderly manner.

The preparation stage of the 2019 presidential election will begin, with the registration for presidential and vice-presidential candidates on Aug 8-14.

"We need to closely monitor various developments in the situation, so that we can take precautionary measures against all possibilities that could affect the stability and security of the nation," he stated.

He affirmed that the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) should remain neutral during the election.

"The TNI must be neutral and maintain loyalty and professionalism," he noted.

He emphasized that the Indonesian people should be mindful of the fact that the final goal of the political year is essentially to elect a leader.

"As devout religious people, we should perform Istikharah Prayer to get a trustworthy leader to serve the people. Do not choose someone just since you got money from the person," he stated.

"A leader must always listen to his conscience as the basis of his outlook and deeds. By having a conscience, a leader will not give up easily but will act wisely," he stated.