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Jokowi: Prabowo Subianto's honorary TNI general title not a political transaction

Tempo - February 28, 2024

Daniel A. Fajri, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo or Jokowi denied reports that the honorary title of TNI General given to Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto was a political transaction. Jokowi stated that similar titles have been given to many figures.

On February 28, Jokowi awarded Prabowo a special four-star title at the Indonesian National Army Headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta. This appointment was made in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 13/TNI/2024, issued a week earlier on February 21, pertaining to the Special Rank Award in the form of Honorary TNI General.

"If this were a political transaction, it would have been given before the election. That this is done after the election to avoid such assumptions," the president said when met after the ceremony at TNI Headquarters.

Jokowi explained that Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Luhut Pandjaitan had also received the same honorary title. "This is a common occurrence in the TNI and the National Police," he said.

The honorary military title given to Prabowo sparked public debate. This is because the former Commander of the Army Strategic Reserve Command (Pangkostrad) was honorably discharged from ABRI in November 1998.

That year, Lieutenant General Prabowo was linked to the assignment of the Mawar Task Force to kidnap pro-democracy activists.

Military expert Beni Sukadis questioned President Jokowi's criteria and considerations for awarding Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto an honorary promotion to the rank of TNI general. Beni stated that the decision to honor a presidential candidate who won based on the quick vote count needs to be reviewed.

Beni argued that some members of Indonesian civil society still hold Prabowo responsible for alleged human rights violations at the end of the New Order.

"Is this really a proper decision? Or is this just a move by Jokowi to maintain influence over Prabowo as the elected president?" asked Beni, a researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1838856/jokowi-prabowo-subiantos-honorary-tni-general-title-not-a-political-transactio