Kuching, Malaysia (ANTARA) - New Chief of Army Staff General Maruli Simanjuntak has the duty to maintain stability and integrity of the nation, especially ahead of the 2024 General Elections, according to Vice President Ma'ruf Amin.

"The Chief of Army Staff must maintain stability and integrity. Do not let the elections be disrupted," Amin told ANTARA here on Wednesday.

The vice president emphasized that Simanjuntak's task is to maintain the nation's stability and assist in maintaining domestic security and order, so that the 2024 elections can run peacefully.

Amin said Simanjuntak must ensure the Army's neutrality in order to maintain stability.

He noted that in the event of an indication that the Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers are not neutral in the elections, then it could pose an interruption to the national situation.

"Once again, I ask that neutrality and security should be maintained. If they are not neutral, it can disturb the situation," he stated.

On Wednesday afternoon, President Joko Widodo inaugurated Simanjuntak as Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Army, based on Presidential Decree No. 103/TNI of 2023.

Simanjuntak earlier served as commander of the Army Strategic Reserve.

With his promotion, his rank in the military also upgraded from Lieutenant General to General of TNI, based on Presidential Decree No.104/TNI of 2023 concerning promotion of high-ranking TNI officers.

Some military observers had projected the appointment of Simanjuntak as Agus Subiyanto's successor, although 15 three-star Army officers had the opportunity to become the Army chief.

Military observer Alman Helvas Ali assessed that Simanjuntak was a strong candidate, as he had served as commander of Group A of the Presidential Security Force (Paspampres) that guards the president.

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Translator: Rangga, Indra, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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