Jakarta. Former Indonesian Military chief Gen. (ret.) Gatot Nurmantyo's name was mentioned by several domestic pollsters as a prospective candidate in next year's presidential election.
On March 31, the four-star general officially retired from service. While still in uniform, Gatot refused to talk about politics, but has taken on a new stance since becoming a civilian.
The Jakarta Globe has compiled his statements.
"I'm appointed [as the military chief] by the president, and it's unethical for me to run in the 2019 presidential election. I don't want that post," Gatot said during the "Rosi" talkshow on Kompas TV.
"Thank you Mr. President for attending many TNI military practices so far, it shows that you give great attention toward the TNI. I'll follow your instructions to guide this military corps," Gatot said to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo during a speech at an event in June 2017, referring to Indonesia's military, as reported by Detik.com.
"I think Gatot won't declare he'll be running for the presidential election as he's still working as the military chief," Yandri Susanto, a lawmaker from the National Mandate Party (PAN), said in July 2017, Liputan6.com reported.
"I'm now the military chief, it's unethical to have a desire to be a president or vice president," Gatot said at the Bogor Presidential Palace in August 2017, according to Detik.com.
"Active military personnel enter domestic politics. We will also always be loyal to our superior, the president, who is elected under the constitution," Gatot said in October 2017 during a TNI anniversary event in Cilegon, Banten, according to Tempo.co.
"I am now a soldier who is not allowed to practice politics, even in dreams. I am neutral and fair to all parties," Gatot said during a speech at the National Meeting of the National Democratic Party (NasDem) in Jakarta on Nov. 16, as quoted by CNNIndonesia.com.
"As a soldier, although retired, when the country calls to serve even in the smallest capacity, I am ready to serve. Whatever the country asks, whatever I will give, I won’t avoid it," Gatot said at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java, on Dec. 5, according to Kompas.com.
"I am now not allowed to talk about politics as I am still a soldier. So supporting [me] is fine, but I’m still a soldier," Gatot said after a position handover at the Indonesia Military headquarters in Jakarta on Jan. 15, as quoted by Kumparan.com.
"There is indeed an offer to join [Prabowo Subianto, presidential nominee], an open opportunity […] My answer is still the same. The answer is I am still an active soldier and I don’t think about practical politics," Gatot said, as reported by detikcom, on March 22.
"If the country calls and the people want it, I am ready to be the president, as it is a task that I have to account for with devotion until the end of my life," Gatot said at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, on April 1, the day after he officially retired from the military, as quoted by rilis.id.
"If the country calls and the people want it, in accordance with the spirit of patriotism, I will always be ready to give my best for the Republic of Indonesia," Gatot said in a video released on the day of his official retirement from the military on March 31.
"Starting today, I have the same rights and obligations as a child of the nation, member of the society and other citizens of the Republic of Indonesia, including to have the right to vote and the right to be elected in the upcoming elections," Gatot said in a press release on April 2.