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Former Military Commander Becomes Aceh Party’s Governor Candidate Campaign Team

BY NURDIN HASAN
Banda Aceh, Feb 1 (TAG) – Former Aceh’s Iskandar Muda regional commander Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Soenarko becomes one of Aceh Party’s governor candidate campaigned team for the coming local election in the Indonesia’s northern most province.

Soenarko said Wednesday that he came to Banda Aceh due to invitation from the Aceh Party leaders to become one of the winning team for its local party’s governor candidate Zaini Abdullah and his running mate Muzakir Manaf for the election that scheduled April 9.
"If you asked that I’m ready, yes off course I’m ready," he told reporters after a meeting with Aceh Party officials at its headquarters.
Soenarko explains he is a figure who had been for sometimes in Aceh when he was the commander of Aceh Iskandar Muda regional command. Prior to the commander in 2008, Soenarko was the Chief of the Army’s Kopassus Special Forces. 
"Although I am a Javanese but I have a blood descendant of Aceh. So we can say that I’m Acehnese too," he said.
Asked whether the pros and cons later because he was the former armed forces commander to support the ex-combatants, Soenarko explains, "I ask all parties to forget the past," he said. "I could not claim that I’m loved by all people. It’s possibility that someone does not like me."
In each decision, he added that surely there will be pros and cons. "But a long history (between Indonesia Armed Force and GAM) should be eliminated," he said.
When asked what Indonesian Armed Force chief’s perspective, Sunarko replied, "I am no longer a soldier anymore. I have a political rights and I will vent my political rights. In the past I was the commander (of Aceh regional command), but now I am an common people," he said.
Meanwhile Muzakir, a former GAM top commander who become a running for vice governor candidate from Aceh Party, as quoted by Antara state news agency confirmed that Soenarko certainly become one of their campaign team.
"With openness and conscience from Soenarko then he has been willing to be a campaign for our team. And Soenarko have expressed approval and availability to became a winning team of our candidate," he said.
According Muzakir who also the chairman of Aceh Party, there are some  other figures who also to be their campaign team to win the Aceh Party’s candidates for the next five year term Aceh governor.
"Many more are willing to be our campaign team. Mostly are Acehnese figures, including former commander Iskandar Muda, a former advisor to chief of police and the Indonesian Armed Forces, in addition to Soenarko," Muzakir said.
Aceh Party is one of the local parties in the province that founded by former members of the now-disbanded guerrillas Free Aceh Movement (GAM) after GAM signed a historic peace agreement with Indonesia government in Helsinki, Finland, in 2005 to end almost 30 years bloody war that claimed some 25,000 people, mostly civilians.
It registered the candidates to run on the local election choose a governor, 13 district heads and four mayors after Constitutional Court last month ordering The Aceh Election Independent Commission (KIP) for the second time the reopening of the registration window for candidates who missed out on the previous periods.
The Aceh elections had initially been scheduled to take place last November, then rescheduled twice on December 24 and February 16 but got derailed when the Aceh Party threatened a boycott in response to a Constitutional Court ruling allowing independent candidates to run.
Aceh Party’s candidate Zaini to race alongside Irwandi Yusuf, the incumbent and a fellow former GAM official, as well as Deputy Governor Muhammad Nazar, Ahmad Tajuddin, a local traditional of Islamic boarding school and Darni M. Daud, the Rector of Syiah Kuala University. Only Nazar and Zaini will be backed by political parties, with the three others running as independent candidates.[] 
Former Military Commander Becomes Aceh Party’s Governor Candidate Campaign Team Former Military Commander Becomes Aceh Party’s Governor Candidate Campaign Team Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on February 01, 2012 Rating: 5

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