23 candidates touted to
become new RI ambassadors
become new RI ambassadors
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has put forth the names of 23 candidates as his picks for indonesia’s new envoys to foreign nations.
Among the candidates are United Development Party (PPP) executive Ahmad Chozin Chumaidi for Lebanon, as well as former Golkar Party lawmaker Aulia Aman Rachman for the Czech Republic, who was once questioned by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
Java Jazz Festival founder and businessman Peter F. Gontha (for Poland), former Indonesian Military (TNI) officials Totok Riyanto (for Brazil) and Hotmangaradja Panjaitan (for France) and Deputy Foreign Minister Wardana (for Turkey), along with a number of career diplomats, are also among the envoy candidates.
Presidential spokesman Teuku Faizasyah, who is also on the list for the Canadian post, refused to confirm any information, including in regard to hearings announced by the House of Representatives.
“It is the prerogative of the President [to select the new envoys],” Teuku said on Thursday. “In general, a candidate will be assessed before being put on the list. There are considerations given there. Competency is [one of the criteria].”
He refused to elaborate on whether the President also took geopolitical matters or the characteristics of particular countries into account before proposing a candidate.
Member of the House’s Commission I overseeing defense, foreign affairs and information, Susaningtyas Nefo Handayani Kertopati of the Hanura Party, said although choosing an ambassador was indeed the prerogative of the President, it would be best if the posts were given to career diplomats.
“If [he] wants [the candidate] to be ideal, it should be a career diplomat,” she said.
However, she added that some countries could be more suitable for those with military or police backgrounds.
“They may fit the profiles. For example, Comr. Gen. [ret.] Ito Sumardi in Myanmar where the military junta remains strong, or Lt. Gen. [ret.] Johny Lumintang in the Philippines and Comr. Gen. [ret.] Nurfaizi in Egypt, due to the security matters faced by our citizens there,” she said.
Susaningtyas was referring to former National Police crime detectives chief Ito, who is the current ambassador to Myanmar, former Army Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad) chief Johny, who is the ambassador to the Philippines, Marshall Islands and Palau Island, and former Jakarta Police chief and chairman of the Indonesian Labor Exporters Association (APJATI), Nurfaizi, the current ambassador to Egypt.
“In the case of a businessman, he or she probably has a special closeness with the government,” she added. “Although sometimes a businessman has good lobbying skills, which are considered relevant to the post by the government.”
As for those with political backgrounds, Susaningtyas said: “No matter what backgrounds they have, as long as they are competent, I’d say it can work.”
The President would likely send his list to the House after the legislative election, she added.