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World IN BRIEF / INDONESIA

Wahid Revokes Laws Empowering Military

March 09, 2000|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Reformist President Abdurrahman Wahid has revoked two laws that for decades gave Indonesia's military sweeping powers to carry out checks of senior politicians and bureaucrats. The intelligence body within the military and a law that gave it power to investigate the backgrounds of all members of parliament and senior government officials were no longer needed, a Cabinet spokesman said. Speaking after the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jakarta, the capital, he said Wahid believes that the laws setting up the agency and its powers led to complications. The laws were passed under then-President Suharto, who used them to keep tabs on other politicians, a military analyst said. Anyone who applied for a senior job within the government or as a politician was forced to undergo questioning. "The main thing they wanted to see was whether you were pro-Communist," he said.

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