Thousands Pour In For Aceh Party Candidates’ Declaration

BANDA ACEH, (TAG) – More than ten of thousands villagers and former rebels poured into the capital of Indonesia’s Aceh province Sunday to attend the Aceh Party’s declaration of its candidates running to the coming local elections scheduled April 9.

Pickup trucks, cars and motorcycles packed with supporters of Aceh Party and former Free Aceh Movement (GAM) guerillas began pouring into the capital Banda Aceh Saturday afternoon carrying flags of its local party and descended on some places around the city.
Aceh, a northern tip region on Sumatra island, to hold the elections to choose governor along with 13 districts’ chiefs and four mayors that scheduled April 9. This is the second directly polls after peace agreement signed between GAM and Indonesian government in Helsinki, Finland, in 2005 to end an almost 30-year guerillas war in the oil and gas-rich province which claimed more than 25,000 people, mostly civilians.
"After waiting for some disputed months on local election regulation we’re so excited because Aceh Party finally registered its candidates to coming polls,” a villager from north Aceh district who came to the capital with some former GAM rebels.
Aceh Party is a local party in the province founded by former members of now-disbanded GAM. The party registered its candidates to run on the local election after national Constitutional Court in January ordering the Aceh Election Independent Commission (KIP) for the second time the reopening of registration window for candidates who missed out on the previous periods.
The Aceh 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 which dominates the provincial and some districts legislatures threatened a boycott in response to previous Constitutional Court ruling in 2010 allowing independent candidates to run.
"I'm very happy and I hope that Aceh Party candidates will overwhelming win, especially for the governor,” said former GAM fighter from Pidie district who has been in Banda Aceh since Saturday morning. “I hope that peace will last in Aceh and we can rebuild our region much better.”
Some Indonesian Army retired generals and other national and local figures scheduled to attend the ceremony at a football field Dimurthala Lampineung, about 2,5 kilometers to the north of Banda Aceh downtown. Among them, there’re two former Aceh’s Iskandar Muda regional commander Maj. Gen. (ret.) Soenarko and Maj. Gen (ret) Djali Yusuf. Sunarko has decided to become governor campaigned team for Aceh Party.
Aceh Party’s candidate Zaini Abdullah to race alongside Irwandi Yusuf, former governor and a fellow former GAM official, as well as ex-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 backed by political parties, with the three others running as independent candidates.
Many analysts believe the upcoming polls have revived old rivalries within former rebel. On one side, they say, Irwandi, former GAM civilian spokesman and propagandist who split from its leadership. On the other side is the 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.[]
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Thousands Pour In For Aceh Party Candidates’ Declaration Thousands Pour In For Aceh Party Candidates’ Declaration Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on February 12, 2012 Rating: 5


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