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Jakarta Post

A deeper look into the recent elections in Aceh

  • Shane Joshua Barter

    New York

  /   Tue, April 28 2009   /  12:54 pm

On the ninth of April 2009, Indonesia held its third set of legislative elections since the collapse of Soeharto's New Order. Numerous political sagas continue to unfold, including concerns over the implications of the first legislative elections in post-conflict Aceh. The core compromises leading to the Helsinki Agreement were that the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) would drop its demand for independence in exchange for substantive autonomy and the right to organize as a political party. Through its powerful Transition Committee, the former rebels formed Partai Aceh (PA). PA quickly became visible throughout the province, symbolized by their variation of the GAM flag. Along with PA, five other local parties were also established. In the months leading up to Aceh's elections, there were numerous instances of violence, mostly against PA leaders. There was a great deal at stake i...