Aceh Pushes for Supreme Local Leader

Banda Aceh, TAG. If the Aceh legislature has its way, the province will soon have a supreme leader with the authority to dismiss the governor and disband the legislature.
The Aceh People’s Representative Council (DPRA), the local equivalent of the Provincial Legislative Council, has prepared a draft bylaw to formally establish the Wali Nanggroe as the top leader of Aceh.
A copy of the initial draft obtained by the Jakarta Globe defines the Wali as “the leader of the Aceh government that holds a high position in the Aceh government system, higher than the head of the Aceh government and its legislature, and is a unifying figure for the people of Aceh.”
Aceh exists as a special territory of Indonesia, enjoying more autonomy from the central government than normal provinces.
It recognizes Islamic Shariah law and is governed by a local legislature and governor.
The national Law on the Government in Aceh (UUPA) recognizes the authority of the Wali, but only in ceremonial or cultural matters.
The late Hasan Tiro, the long-exiled leader of the now disbanded Free Aceh Movement (GAM), had previously been recognized as the Wali. The draft states that former exiled GAM prime minister Malik Mahmud would take over the position.
Adnan Beuransyah, the head of the DPRA’s Commission A, which oversees legal, government and security affairs, said the draft had been agreed to by all fractions at the council. But he said it still had to be jointly discussed by a special committee of the council and representatives of the current provincial government.
He said the Wali’s authority would reflect “Aceh’s special status,” noting that, “the Wali is an official institution that has the highest power and autonomy in the government of Aceh.”
The Wali, Adnan said, was a typical Acehnese institution, and the region has had eight such figures in its history. In spite of the presence of the Wali, though, he said Aceh would remain very much a part of Indonesia.
The governor in Aceh, he said, would be a local representative of the central government and therefore would only deal with issues under the authority of the central government.
However, Moharriadi Syafari, a DPRA member from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), said he believed the bylaw would be difficult to put into practice “because it would contradict other regulations prevailing in Indonesia.”
Mawardi Ismail, a legal observer from Syiah Kuala University, said the draft still needed to be improved and be brought in line with the UUPA.
“The bylaw is necessary because it is to implement the UUPA, but we should not go beyond what has been arranged in the UUPA,” Mawardi said.[]
Aceh Pushes for Supreme Local Leader Aceh Pushes for Supreme Local Leader Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on December 14, 2010 Rating: 5

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