Jakarta, wapresri.go.id – In addition to fair elections, the neutrality of the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (Polri) must be maintained to create a conducive atmosphere during the elections.

“Without the neutrality of the TNI and Polri, there will be imbalances in society,” said Vice President Jusuf Kalla during the briefing to participants of the TNI-Polri Leadership Meeting at the Gatot Subroto hall of TNI Headquarters in Cilangkap, Jakarta, Tuesday (23/1).

At the forum attended by TNI Commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and Police Chief General Pol Tito Karnavian, the Vice President also told TNI and Police members to increase alertness and tighten security ahead of regional elections in 2018 as well as legislative and presidential election in 2019.

Since its Independence Day, he continued, Indonesia has conducted 11 legislative elections, namely the 1955 election with the largest number of participating political parties in history yet very safe and democratic, seven elections during the New Order period, and three elections in the Reform Era, as well as three direct presidential elections since 2004 and thousands of regional head elections. Despite the different methods, the Vice President considered all of the elections to be relatively safe.

“We are grateful during the elections, I think no candidate was killed, and no major conflicts, especially in the latter one. This is of course due to better public awareness and security provided by the TNI and Polri,” he said.

Challenges of the coming elections, the Vice President continued, will be more diverse, especially with the existence of cyber campaigns.

According to him, if the previous elections were full of billboards and mass mobilisations, in the present day, cyber mobs appeared in the form of cyber-army, which often took on cyber-attacks in the form of negative campaigns or black campaigns.

“In the future, the police and the armed forces must be strong in monitoring cyber or IT wars. Each candidate should also have an IT team to provide right information or to counter hoaxes,” he said. (RN/FM, KIP Setwapres)