World Bulletin / News Desk
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has picked the army chief of staff to lead the military, a presidential palace spokesman said on Wednesday, breaking with a reform-era tradition of rotating the position between the branches of the armed forces.
Presidential spokesman Teten Masduki defended the choice of military chief, which was submitted to parliament for approval on Tuesday, saying it was not necessary to stick to tradition.
"As commander in chief, the president has the authority to appoint the military head with parliamentary approval," Masduki said in a statement.
"He chose Nurmantyo because of the belief that he can strengthen the military to deal with geopolitical and regional geo-strategic changes."
The decision to allow the army to remain at the helm comes on the heels of contentious moves to allow military personnel to get involved in civilian affairs such as counter-terrorism and anti-narcotics operations.
U.S. ally Indonesia is not directly involved in disputes over rival claims in the South China Sea and has traditionally seen itself as an "honest broker" between China and several Southeast Asian countries.Last Mod: 10 Haziran 2015, 10:52