Military ambitions shake Indonesia’s politics
Not since ex-dictator Suharto's New Order regime has a top military officer displayed such open political ambitions. But armed forces commander Gen Gatot Nurmantyo is no ordinary officer
By JOHN MCBETH JAKARTA, OCTOBER 9, 2017 4:54 PM (UTC+8)
Indonesian military Chief Gatot Nurmantyo gestures as he sits in his car after talking to reporters in Jakarta, Indonesia, January 5, 2017. Photo: Reuters/Beawiharta
Even before, Suharto showed by belatedly reaching out to Muslim leaders that he never had the same trust in the TNI after his own generation of generals was replaced by a stream of newcomers he knew little about and had even less confidence in.
Nearly 20 years later, it would be interesting to speculate on what Suharto would have made of TNI commander General Gatot Nurmantyo, who clearly feels a glittering political career awaits him beyond his mandatory retirement in March next year.
The general view suggests otherwise, as President Joko Widodo prepares to make a bid for a second term in April 2019, when presidential and legislative elections will be held on the same day.