Ex-mily chief calls for end to rivalry among retired generals

"The polemic (on rivalry among retired generals in the presidential election) must be stopped because it is of no use to the nation and state," former National Defense Force (TNI) chief Gen. (ret) Djoko Santoso said.
Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA News) - Two retired top military officers have called for an immediate halt to rivalry among their fellow retired generals in supporting presidential candidates in the July 9 poll.

"The polemic (on rivalry among retired generals in the presidential election) must be stopped because it is of no use to the nation and state," former National Defense Force (TNI) chief Gen. (ret) Djoko Santoso said on the sidelines of a roll call of the Communication Forum of Indonesian Veterans Children (FKPPI) at the Brawijaya Regional Military Command station here on Wednesday.

The roll call was led by Brawijaya Regional Military Command Chief Maj. Gen. Eko Wiratmoko and attended by five retired military officers. The former Army chief of staff asked fellow retired generals to cool down and contemplate the goal of being soldiers, the importance of military and police solidarity, and democracy.

"Democracy is a choice that we had agreed upon for 16 years. We will never return to the past. Therefore, we must view the election as a "fiesta" that must not lead to a rift among us. We must reconcile soon without having to wait for the results," he added.

He pointed out that the 2014 presidential election was different from the previous poll because two pairs of presidential and vice-presidential candidates were contesting. Therefore, tension between retired generals should be considered excessive in spirit.

Meanwhile, former territorial assistant to the Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. (ret) Saurip Kadi hoped that retired generals who support both the presidential candidates should unite.

"If a difference of opinion exists, it should be viewed as natural competition in democracy, provided the statement made is a fact and is not an opinion to discredit (a certain presidential candidate). If it is a fact, I believe there is not disgrace because we are an educated community," he added.(*)

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