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Jakarta Post

Elections in Aceh and Timor Leste: After the struggle

  • Cillian Nolan

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 19 2012   /  11:39 am

Years after two very different peace settlements in Aceh and Timor Leste, the theme of the unfi nished struggle continues to shape election politics. In either place there is no question of a return to confl ict with Jakarta as the power struggles are now internal. But the challenge for both is to transform “struggle” from an end in itself toward the kind of political competition that will deliver results for voters.

Last week, voters chose a governor   and other local offi cials in Aceh, the Indonesian province where Free Aceh Movement (GAM) rebels ended a 30-year fi ght for independence in exchange for greater autonomy under the 2005 Helsinki agreement. On Monday, residents of Timor Leste elected their third president since Indonesia’s 1999 withdrawal ended 24 years of armed resistance there.

The Aceh governor’s election was chiefl y a contest between tw...