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Jakarta Post

Finally, Aceh local parties to take part in general election

  • Hotli Simanjuntak

    The Jakarta Post

Banda Aceh   /   Mon, August 18 2008   /  11:30 am

After hard and painful events, ranging from political and military conflict to the tsunami disaster, the people of Aceh can now enjoy more political freedoms and special rights. Six eligible local parties will soon compete for legislative seats in the 2009 legislative election. The establishment of these local parties is based on the Aceh Administration Law which says that Acehnese can have and be represented by local political parties, to help channel their political aspirations. The law is part of the implementation of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the now dissolved separatist Free-Aceh Movement (GAM) and the Indonesian government, in Helsinki in 2005. It was not easy for Acehnese to start initiating local parties. They had to move step-by-step towards their goal. Many people, especially ultranationalists, still consider local parties as a backdoor way out for ...