Abri ‘should delink from Golkar’

THE Indonesian armed forces (Abri) will have to delink itself from Golkar in the long run and treat all political parties equally, former Coordinating Minister for Defence and Security, retired general Edi Sudradjat, said yesterday.

“Abri is part of society and should treat all socio-political organisations alike,” he told reporters.

His comment is the latest in a series of statements by senior-ranking military officers trying to counter the perception that Abri would back the party the same way it did during the Suharto era.

Despite such public assurances, analysts believe that the military would still support the party and was pushing its candidate for the chairman’s post at the upcoming congress next Thursday.

Gen Sudradjat, while downplaying Golkar’s internal politicking, acknowledged that the party was “in need of surgery” to become a stronger outfit. That entailed an infusion of new members.

He said: “Golkar has to reform itself. And to do that we need to find honest people who will put the country first before their own interests.”

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