Jakarta. Chief Security Minister Wiranto said the government will review the controversial proposal to appoint high-ranking police officers as acting governors in the upcoming simultaneous regional elections after a meeting with related institutions in Jakarta on Monday (05/02).
"Steps made by the government are in accordance with existing regulations, so it hasn’t been made carelessly," Wiranto said, alluding to the Ministry of Home Affairs’ proposal to appoint two two-star police generals to become acting governors in North Sumatra and West Java.
The recommendation has been met with criticism, many citing concerns that those appointments would compromise the National Police’s neutrality during the elections in June.
Last month, Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo recommended the appointment of the National Police’s head of internal affairs, Insp. Gen. Martuani Sormin, and chief operational assistant, Insp. Gen. Mochamad Iriawan, as acting governors for North Sumatra and West Java respectively, according to a report from BeritaSatu.com
The appointments are intended to fill positions that will be vacant before the elections, which Tjahjo said cannot all be filled with officials at the Ministry of Home Affairs.
After Monday’s meeting, which included Tjahjo, deputy chief of the National Police Comr. Gen. Syafruddin, Indonesian Military’s (TNI) chief of staff Didit Herdiawan, Wiranto reaffirmed that the government is listening to concerns raised regarding the proposal.
"We are listening to the concerns and our decision will be aimed to support a successful, safe and smooth process during the regional elections," Wiranto said.
Wiranto added that the government will review the proposal and consider how police officials can deal with issues in provinces while also overcoming possibly negative impacts from such appointments in upcoming meetings between relevant institutions.
Furthermore, he stressed that ensuring a successful election will not solely depend on efforts from the government, but from the citizenry as well.
"This is a national event, and the success of our regional elections will bring about good leaders for Indonesia," Wiranto said.