Former GAM Fighters Consolidation

Banda Aceh, TAG – Hundreds former Free Aceh Movement (GAM) fighters from all over Indonesia’s Aceh province held a closed door meeting in a Banda Aceh’s hotel Thursday to declare supporting to gubernatorial candidate Irwandi Yusuf in the upcoming local elections.

Oki Rahmatna Tiba, an executive committee of the meeting told journalists the attendees consist of the ex-GAM districts leaders, dozens sub-districts’ commanders and former field fighters. They held the meeting to consolidate ahead of election scheduled April 9, he said.
“Former GAM combatants from all over Aceh hold a consolidation meeting to support Irwandi and his running mate Muhyan Yunan to win a gubernatorial polls,” Oki said.
This is a second meeting held by former GAM rebels to support Irwandi. On Monday, some 130 former guerillas from Aceh Besar district declared to supporting Irwandi to become the of Aceh administration for the next second term.
Irwandi was a former Aceh governor who ended his first term mandate on February 8. He elected along with his running mate Muhammad Nazar, the vice governor, in Aceh’s first directly local election in 2006 after GAM signed a historic peace truce with Indonesian government in Helsinki in 2005, to end a 29-year guerrilla war in the province.
According to Oki, the meeting also attended by Irwandi himself. They would discuss about how to counterwork to intimidation and terror up to the along-awaited elections. “They committed to support the election running peacefully and successfully,” Oki said.
The consolidation meeting held after Aceh Party declared its candidates running on the elections to choose governor, four mayors and 13 districts’ chief in the northern tip Sumatra island’s province. Aceh Party proposed Zaini Abdullah as gubernatorial candidate.
A head of Aceh elections, former GAM fighters believed split in supporting the gubernatorial candidates between Irwandi and Aceh Party’s Zaini, a former foreign minister of GAM government in exile, who running with Muzakir Manaf as vice governor.
Analysts believe the upcoming polls have revived old rivalries within former rebel. On one side, Irwandi, a former GAM propagandist who split from its leadership. On the other side is former GAM elite who run the Aceh Party and support Malik Mahmud, who once helped run the movement as a prime minister from exile in Sweden, they said.
Irwandi and Zaini will fight the race alongside Muhammad Nazar, former vice governor as well as Ahmad Tajuddin, a local traditional of Islamic boarding school and Darni M. Daud, the rector of Syiah Kuala University. Only Nazar and Zaini backed by political parties, with the three others running as independent candidates.[]
Former GAM Fighters Consolidation Former GAM Fighters Consolidation Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on February 16, 2012 Rating: 5


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