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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Suyanto likely to come out fit, proper

Air Marshall Djoko Suyanto, the sole candidate for the post of Indonesian Military (TNI) chief, is only days away from starting his job, with Wednesday's fit-and-proper test at the House of Representatives a mere formality, insiders say.

Suyanto is President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's only choice for the military's top job. "Djoko Suyanto is the best candidate," said Ade Daud Nasution of the Reform Star Party, a member of the House Commission I working group on defense that will interview Suyanto.

Theo Sambuaga, a Golkar Party legislator who heads the commission, said the session would be open to the public. "We will focus on his personality, morality and track record." However, more sensitive topics like personal wealth would not be discussed, Theo said.

Golkar believes Suyanto could drive reform in the TNI and improve soldiers' professionalism. The military's image has been tarnished over recent years, with top soldiers accused of involvement in human rights abuses and illegal businesses.

National Mandate Party (PAN) legislators said they would focus their questions on Suyanto's vision of human rights issues. "Human rights is a serious concern for us," legislator Djoko Susilo said. Any challenge is likely to come from the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle faction, which favors former Army chief of staff Gen. Ryamizard Ryacudu to replace the retiring Gen. Endriartono Sutarto. Marshall Suyanto, 55, graduated from the Military Academy in 1973, the same year as Yudhoyono, a former Army general.

Muninggar Sri Saraswati
Jakarta Post
February 02, 2006

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