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Ex-GAM To Found Another Local Party

BY RADZIE
Banda Aceh, TAG – A closed door consolidation meeting attending by hundreds former Free Aceh Movement (GAM) fighters Thursday planned to found another local party in Indonesia' Aceh province. Former Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf was one of the initiators behind founding the new political party.
DEDEK PARTA PHOTO
There’re also some former GAM’s figures and commanders such as Muharram Idris, former of Aceh Transitional Committee (KPA) for Aceh Besar district who once the region’s GAM commander; Amni bin Ahmad Marzuki, former GAM negotiator on Joint Security Council of 2002 Aceh peace truce; Sofyan Dawood, a former of GAM’s military spokesman and some others.
The idea to found a new political party in the Aceh is as a form of desire to accommodate the former GAM’s region commanders who once the leaders of Aceh Party in their areas, Irwandi told journalists after the meeting. They’re fired by the top Aceh Party leaders because supporting gubernatorial candidate Irwandi to running in the up-coming local elections.
The Aceh Party dominates the provincial and some districts legislatures after it won overwhelming in the 2009 legislative election. It founded by the former member of now-disbanded GAM.
“They have been fired from the Aceh Party and KPA. Most of them have been fired,” Irwandi said, adding they fired because they didn’t support the gubernatorial candidate that determined by former GAM leaders. In the meeting, some 12 former GAM's commander declared supporting Irwandi. 
Aceh Party prescribed to register Zaini Abdullah, a former foreign minister of GAM’s government in exile in Sweden as gubernatorial candidate along with his running mate Muzakir Manaf, the former top GAM’s commander.
GAM signed a historic peace treaty with Indonesia’s government in Helsinki, Finland, in 2005 to end a guerillas war in the northern tip Sumatra island that claimed more than 25,000 lives, mostly civilians.
According to Irwandi, the regions’ former commanders and his men does not have any umbrella to channel their political aspirations. “They don’t have any place to stand, so we discussed about founding a new umbrella,” he said.
To ensure a good democratic process in Aceh, Irwandi added, local political party would not be just one. “There is not enough if just a single local political party, so we needs two to three more local parties in order to form a good democratic process,” he said.  “If there’s only one local party, the democratic process does not work.”
Analysts believe a long-awaited polls have revived old rivalries within former rebels. On one side, they said, Irwandi, former GAM civilian spokesman and propagandist who split from its leadership. On the other side is the former GAM elites who run the Aceh Party and support Malik Mahmud, who once helped run the movement as a prime minister from exile in Sweden.
Aceh to hold the local polls to choose governor, 13 districts’ chiefs and four mayors that scheduled April 9. The elections had initially been scheduled to take place last November, then delayed and rescheduled twice on December 24 and February 16 but later got derailed when the Aceh Party threatened a boycott in response to previous Constitutional Court ruling in 2010 allowing independent candidates to run.
Aceh Election Independent Commission (KIP) went on to register candidates anyway, regardless of boycott by the party. The Aceh Party registered finally its candidates in January 20 after the court ordering KIP for the second time the reopening of registration window for candidates who missed out on the previous periods. Last November, the court ordered the same ruling, but Aceh Party refused to register its candidates.[]
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