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Governor Candidate Wants Wider Enforcement of Shariah Law

BY NURDIN HASAN

Banda Aceh, TAG –  Wider implementation of Shariah law, greater economic empowerment and better governance were among the platforms espoused on Thursday by the five gubernatorial candidates in Indonesia’s Aceh province.
Independent candidate Ahmad Tajuddin who well-known as Abi Lampisang, told a special hearing of the provincial legislature that he intended to address Aceh’s pressing problems through wider implementation and enforcement of Islamic values through Shariah law. 
“Shariah is not being enforced as strongly as it should,” he said. 
He vowed that should he win the election on April 9, when voters will also turn out to choose 13 district heads and four mayors, he would “uphold the truth and eradicate sleaze.” 
He also promised to give ulema, or Islamic clerics, a greater say in running the province and in “all aspects of people’s lives,” as well as build on the more successful programs already implemented by Governor Irwandi Yusuf. 
Abi, who runs an Islamic traditional boarding school in Aceh Besar district’s Lampisang area, is one of three candidates contesting the election as an independent, including Irwandi and Darni M. Daud. 
Darni, rector of Banda Aceh’s Syiah Kuala University, told the legislature that his focus as governor would be on improving access to education and health care and raising cultural awareness. 
He also said he would improve economic growth in resource-rich Aceh through “fair, sustainable and environmentally friendly” means. 
“We will also fix and improve public services through a system of governance that is cleaner, more professional, transparent, fair and accountable,” Darni said. 
He said his programs would aim to improve people’s understanding of true Islamic teaching in the conservative province. 
Irwandi meanwhile highlighted the success of several of his programs during his five years in office, particularly road-building, access to clean water, free health coverage and scholarships. 
If re-elected, he said, he would continue those programs while also improving infrastructure, boosting education and ensuring equitable economic growth. 
One of Irwandi’s challengers in the upcoming poll is his former deputy governor, Muhammad Nazar, who is now gunning for his boss’s job and enjoys the backing of the Democratic Party and United Development Party (PPP). 
Nazar said one of his major goals was to eradicate corruption from the bureaucracy. He also pledged to nurture a “more pious, productive, just and civilized” community and promised to address nagging security concerns in the province, where almost 30 years of separatist strife spearheaded by the now-defunct Free Aceh Movement (GAM) ended with a peace deal in 2005. 
Former GAM guerillas created the Aceh Party, which backs Zaini Abdullah,  who said he would help Aceh prosper by exploiting its natural resources. “This is my mandate: To restore the dignity and pride of the Aceh people and ensure prosperity and justice, as well as independence in how the province is run,” he said. 
The candidates presented their platforms a day after the official campaigning period for the polls began. During this period, which ends on April 5, each ticket will be allotted 55 campaign events across all 23 districts and cities of Aceh.[]
Governor Candidate Wants Wider Enforcement of Shariah Law Governor Candidate Wants Wider Enforcement of Shariah Law Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on March 24, 2012 Rating: 5

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