Indonesian President Picks Relative as Army Chief

Posted June 30th, 2011 at 9:25 am (UTC-5)
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Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has appointed his brother-in-law as the country's new army chief.

Pramono Edhie Wibowo will replace retiring General George Toisutta.

Wibowo currently commands the military's Strategic Reserves and is the brother of Mr. Yudhoyono's wife.

Officials have rejected claims of nepotism, saying Wibowo is the best person for the post.

Analysts say the appointment raises speculation of a possible future Wibowo presidential bid, as Indonesian law prevents Mr. Yudhoyono from running in the 2014 election.

Rights groups have also raised concern over Wibowo's suspected involvement in the 1999 attack on the home of a bishop who opposed the military's campaign in East Timor.

The attack took place while he served as commander of the army's elite Kopassus unit.