Arif Shodiq Pujihartom, Jakarta – Scores of activists from the People's Democratic Party (PRD) demonstrated at the National Election Commission on Friday June 4. They were expressing their opposition to military presidential candidates. Strangely, the demonstration ended with them trampling on photographs of all of the presidential candidates.
The PRD action began as usual with one of the demonstrators giving a speech while the rest sat listening. Others held up posters with the writing "Reject military presidential and vice-presidential candidates".
In a leaflet the PRD appealed to all parties to unite to block military presidential and vice-presidential candidates form winning the July 5 presidential elections. However the PRD reminded people that rejecting military presidential candidates did not simply mean rejecting [former armed forces chief and Golkar Party candidate] Wiranto and [former coordinating minister for politics and security and Democratic Party candidate] Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY).
Opposing military presidential candidates must also mean being on guard against and paying close attention to the working programs of all of the presidential candidates. Every single presidential candidates must included a program to abolish the dual social and political role of the TNI (armed forces), do away with the TNI's territorial command structure and remove the TNI and police from politics. Presidential candidates who do not have such a program must be rejected they said.
At 3.45pm the demonstrators disbanded however before ending their action they trampled on pictures of all the presidential candidates – not just pictures of Wiranto and SBY but other presidential candidates with a civilian background such as incumbent President Megawati Sukarnoputri and Amien Rais from the National Mandate Party. (iy)
[Translated by James Balowski.]