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1 of 3: ICG: Papua: The Dangers of Shutting Down Dialogue  Tapol
 Mar 24, 2006 08:01 PST 


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International Crisis Group Asia [Jakarta/Brussels]
23 March 2006

Briefing No. 47

Papua: The Dangers of Shutting Down Dialogue

I. Overview

There is serious risk the long-awaited Papuan People's
Council (Majelis Rakyat Papua, MRP) is about to
collapse, only five months after it was established,
ending hopes that it could ease tensions between
Papuans and the central government. The MRP was
designed as the centrepiece of the autonomy package
granted the country's easternmost province in 2001.
Almost as soon as it came into being, however, it was
faced with two major crises ­ stalled talks over the

legal status of West Irian Jaya, the province carved
out of Papua in 2003, and violence sparked by protests
over the giant Freeport mine ­ while Jakarta

marginalised its mediation attempts. To revive genuine
dialogue and salvage the institution before autonomy
is perhaps fatally damaged, President Yudhoyono should
meet the MRP in Papua, thus acknowledging its
importance, while the MRP should move beyond
non-negotiable demands and offer realistic policy
options to make autonomy work.

Papuan leaders had envisaged the MRP as a
representative body of indigenous leaders that would
protect Papuan culture and values in the face of
large-scale migration from elsewhere in Indonesia and
exploitation of Papua's natural resources.
Jakarta-based politicians saw it as a vehicle for
Papuan nationalism and deliberately diluted its
powers, then delayed its birth. By the time it
emerged, the province had been divided into two, many
Papuans were disillusioned with autonomy and some were
already questioning how the MRP could function under
such circumstances.

The MRP's authority remains uncertain. If it can
manoeuvre its way through these two crises, it may yet
be able to take on other outstanding grievances and
become what Papua has always lacked, a genuinely
representative dialogue partner with Jakarta. If it
fails, not only will its own legitimacy be diminished,
but local resentment against the central government
will almost certainly increase.

The signs are not good. As negotiations between the
MRP and the central government were underway to
resolve the disputed legal status of West Irian Jaya
(Irian Jaya Barat, IJB), Jakarta suddenly authorised
gubernatorial elections there, cementing its status as
a separate province outside autonomy. The MRP, despite
its hard-line rhetoric, had begun to show signs of
willingness to compromise, but rather than
reciprocate, the central government sidelined it. The
MRP is now grappling with whether continued
negotiations are possible, and if not, whether it
should disband. But with large local turnout in the
West Irian Jaya elections, and the local support that
implies for the province, the bigger question is
whether the MRP is still a relevant actor.

Meanwhile, student-led demonstrations in Papua and by
Papuan students in Java and Sulawesi demanding closure
of the Freeport mine in Timika and the withdrawal of
military forces there, which had been escalating since
late February, culminated in a violent clash in
Abepura on 16 March, in which four police and an air
force officer were killed and several civilians
seriously injured. The subsequent police sweeps have
been heavy handed, and the atmosphere remains tense.
The MRP's attempts to engage the central government on
this issue were quickly brushed aside.

Successful MRP mediation of these tensions is becoming
more crucial as the chances of it happening become
more remote. The MRP has not made its own case any
easier but it is now up to the central government to
bring it back on board. If sufficient trust can be
reestablished to resume dialogue, a compromise on West
Irian Jaya is still possible, building on the baseline
consensus reached by the central government and top
Papuan provincial leaders in late November 2005. The
essence of that agreement was that Papua would remain
a single economic, social, and cultural entity,
regardless of the administrative division. That is,
there would be a single MRP, and the autonomy funds
from the central government and revenues raised in
each province from resource exploitation ­ from the

gold and copper of the Freeport mine in Papua and from
the BP natural gas project in West Irian Jaya ­ would

be shared by both.

Since the elections, the MRP's bargaining position has
been further weakened, but it is critically important
now to reach a compromise on the issue ­ not just in

the interests of resolving two crises, but to make the
MRP a functioning institution. Failure to bolster the
MRP would almost certainly deal a fatal blow to an
autonomy package in which many Papuans are already
losing faith. Given the current volatility in Papua,
it is in everyone's interests to make sure this does
not happen.

II. Background to the MRP

The November 2001 law on Special Autonomy (otonomi
khusus or otsus) was drafted at the height of
Indonesian fears of disintegration. The country was
still reeling from the loss of East Timor, struggling
with communal violence in Maluku and Poso and in the
middle of negotiations with separatist rebels in Aceh.
Autonomy was seen as an attempt to diminish rising
demands for independence. The Special Autonomy law for
Papua (and earlier for Aceh) was initiated by the much
more accommodating government of Abdurrahman Wahid,
then reluctantly concluded by the much harder-line
nationalist Megawati government.

The draft was laboriously negotiated with a variety of
Papuan groups, who saw it as a way of strengthening
local institutions to address political, cultural and
economic grievances, and here the inclusion of the
Papuan People's Council (MRP) was vital. The Home
Affairs Ministry weakened a final Papuan draft, but
the MRP was among the components it retained, albeit
with curtailed powers. As soon as the law had been
enacted however, key figures in the central government
began to regret its concessions, fearing they would
fuel support for independence.

They settled on two tactics: stall implementation and
divide Papua.

The law held that the MRP should have been established
by an implementing regulation (peraturan pelaksanaan)
within two years. In August 2002 the Papuan parliament
sent a draft regulation on the MRP to the Ministry of
Home Affairs, but had no response until March 2003
when Home Minister Hari Sabarno announced he would
produce an alternative. He never did. Instead, the
government of President Megawati pressed ahead with
pemekaran (administrative division), undercutting
Special Autonomy and Papuan moderates who had risked
their credibility supporting it, and creating a legal
and political quagmire.

A. Division of Papua

On 27 January 2003, without consulting either Papuan
Governor Jaap Salossa nor then Coordinating Minister
for Politics and Security Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono,
President Megawati issued a Presidential Instruction
reactivating Law No. 45 of 1999, which mandated the
division of Papua into the three new provinces of
Irian Jaya (the old name for Papua), West Irian Jaya
and Central Irian Jaya. The new provinces it
authorised had not been created in 1999 because of
strong local opposition. There had, in fact, been an
agreement between a parliamentary committee finalising
the Special Autonomy Law and the home affairs minister
in 2001 that after Special Autonomy was enacted, the
articles in Law 45 of 1999 on the creation of new
provinces would be reviewed and repealed.

The decision to revive the 1999 law was presented as
an effort to improve access to government services and
expedite economic development but it appeared to be
driven by the desire to divide Papuan elites and
weaken the independence movement. President Megawati's
PDI-P party also had an interest in cultivating local
support in the Golkar-dominated province in the run up
to the 2004 legislative and presidential elections.
The BP liquid natural gas project due to commence in
the Bintuni Bay area of West Irian Jaya was also
undoubtedly a factor.

Opponents of the division argued that it was
incompatible with the autonomy law, that establishing
new provincial governments would cause an influx of
non-Papuan migrants, waste money on new bureaucracies
that would be better spent on health and education,
and increase the risk of conflict. Opponents among the
Jayapura elite were also probably reacting at least in
part to the weakening of their own positions.

In August 2003 violent clashes broke out in Timika,
the proposed capital of the new province of Central
Irian Jaya, between pro- and anti-pemekaran groups in
which five were killed. The central government then
decided to postpone the province's establishment. Pro-
and anti-pemekaran groups also held rallies in
Manokwari, when the founding of West Irian Jaya was
announced in November 2003, but without violence.

The key factor in determining West Irian Jaya's
endurance and Central Irian Jaya's demise, however,
was support from local elites. In Central Irian Jaya
the proposed governor, Herman Monim, was equivocal at
best about creation of the new province, and found out
only by accident a week after the fact that he had
been appointed, whereas acting IJB Governor Bram
Atuturi, a former military intelligence officer,
actively lobbied the central government for the
creation of West Irian Jaya.

Since its creation in November 2003, West Irian Jaya
has existed in a legal limbo. While it was left to the
Constitutional Court to resolve whether creation of
the new province violated the autonomy law, Bram
Atururi was appointed as caretaker governor and
proceeded to develop its political and physical
infrastructure. Cementing its status as a separate
province, a regional electoral office (KPUD) separate
from the Papua branch in Jayapura was established in
Manokwari, and a regional parliament elected in April
2004 added another layer of political legitimacy.
Hundreds of local officials have been employed, with
the side effect of boosting the local economy.

The gubernatorial elections originally slated for July
2005 could not be held until March 2006, due to the
province's unclear legal status.

The vote was authorised less than a week before it
took place on 11 March, in a sudden decision by the
home affairs minister, who had previously assured the
MRP and Papuan parliament that it would not be carried
out until IJB's legal status had been reconciled with
Special Autonomy.

West Irian Jaya continues to rely heavily on the
Ministry of Home Affairs, politically and financially.
It is unable to raise revenue within the province, and
is not eligible for Special Autonomy funds. The
payment of royalties from the BP liquid natural gas
plant will also be held up until the province's legal
status is resolved.

B. Constitutional Court decision adds to confusion

As soon as West Irian Jaya's formation was announced,
the speaker of Papua's provincial parliament, John
Ibo, filed an appeal for judicial review with the
Constitutional Court. The verdict issued almost a year
later, on 11 November 2004, ruled that Law 45 of 1999
dividing Papua into three provinces had been
superseded by the Special Autonomy law, but since the
province of West Irian Jaya had already been
established, had its own parliament and participated
in the 2004 national elections, its existence had to
be recognised. It also stated that Article 76 of the
Special Autonomy Law, which requires the MRP to
approve new provinces, does not apply to West Irian
Jaya.

The court's decision, which is final and binding,
appears to have been an attempt to reconcile legal
inconsistencies with practical concerns but it only
served to create even more legal uncertainty. It has
been interpreted by some opponents of pemekaran, for
example, as implying the nullification of West Irian
Jaya, since the law on which it is based is no longer
valid, even though the verdict explicitly states that
West Irian Jaya should be recognised. Acknowledging
the inadequacy of the province's current legal status,
the Constitutional Court recommended in a June 2005
clarification that the central government provide an
additional "legal umbrella" to consolidate the
province's legal base.

The interim arrangement has been that West Irian Jaya
is regulated under Law 32 of 2004 on Regional
Governance, the law governing all provinces in
Indonesia other than Aceh and Papua. This calls into
question whether the new province would benefit from
the provisions of the autonomy law it enjoyed as part
of Papua ­ and whether certain government functions

would be subject to MRP approval.

C. Getting back on track

Much of Papuans' resentment over West Irian Jaya and
the inconsistent implementation of Special Autonomy is
directed at the government of Megawati Sukarnoputri ­

particularly the president herself, the National
Intelligence Agency (Badan Intelijen Negara, BIN) and
the Ministry of Home Affairs. Yudhoyono, then
Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security, was
completely cut out of the decision on pemekaran in
Papua.

When he resigned to run for President in March 2004,
Yudhoyono made peaceful resolution of the conflicts in
Aceh and Papua an important part of his platform. He
reassured Papuan leaders both publicly and privately
throughout the campaign of his commitment to the full
and consistent implementation of Special Autonomy. He
reinforced this message several times after he took
office in October 2004, including by issuing the long
awaited Government Regulation No. 54 of 2004 on the
establishment of the MRP. Yudhoyono's commitment to
Special Autonomy resonated among Papuans, reflected in
their strong support for him in the 2004 presidential
election. It also created considerable expectations.

Having paved the way for the creation of the MRP,
President Yudhoyono, whatever his own thoughts on the
legitimacy of the division, had to reconcile it with
West Irian Jaya. He has repeatedly stressed that the
MRP must recognise the disputed province. Regulation
No. 54 itself stipulates that:

The MRP along with the Papuan Provincial Government
and Legislature, is given the task and responsibility
of assisting the government to resolve and implement
the division of the Papuan province which had been
decided prior to this regulation, taking into
consideration the realities of the situation and the
laws in operation, no later than six months after
being appointed.

He underlined this point in his speech in August 2005
to the Regional Representatives Council (Dewan
Perwakilan Daerah, DPD). In the same breath that he
affirmed his commitment to full implementation of
Special Autonomy, he said:

The government would like to clarify that the legal
status of West Irian Jaya province is valid…its legal

basis is Law No. 32 of 2004 [the revised regional
autonomy law], as applied to any province. In view of
that, I ask all parties to fully respect the law and
the decision of the Constitutional Court.

Many Papuan leaders were taken aback by this
unequivocal support for West Irian Jaya, feeling
suddenly betrayed by someone they had regarded as a
political ally.

III.    The MRP's difficult birth As soon as the central
government provided the legal infrastructure needed to
establish the MRP, problems began to arise at the
provincial level. The Dewan Adat Papua (Papuan
customary council), an organisation representing
Papua's 253 ethnic communities, formally turned its
back on Special Autonomy in August 2005; religious
institutions refused for months to nominate
representatives to the MRP; and serious irregularities
were reported with the selection of representatives in
some areas. Ultimately, however, most of the relevant
institutions were eventually brought on board, and
none of the technical or political problems were
sufficiently grave either to derail the formation of
the MRP or to seriously damage its overall
credibility.

A Papuan Provincial Regulation (perdasi) outlined the
mechanisms for electing the religious, women and
customary representatives, each of which make up one
third of the MRP's 42 members. Religious leaders were
to be chosen by their respective institutions, with
the proportion of seats allocated to each religion and
denomination determined by representatives of
provincial religious bodies and a specially appointed
MRP Selection Committee (Panitia Pemilihan) in
accordance with the proportions of indigenous Papuans
belonging to each faith.

For the customary and women representatives on the
Council, the drafting team examined a number of
options, including direct election, but ultimately
opted for an indirect method of community
consultations. Although direct elections would have
been the most democratic option, the time and expense
of drawing up a list of indigenous Papuans eligible to
vote, given the logistical difficulties inherent in
Papua's mountainous regions, was deemed prohibitive.

To ensure a "bottom-up" process, the drafters designed
a three-tiered system, beginning with village level
meetings to select representatives to meet at the
sub-district (kecamatan/distrik) level.

The sub-district representatives were then to vote for
representatives at the district (kabupaten/kota)
level, who chose the final representatives for the
fourteen electoral areas (daerah pemilihan), four of
which were in West Irian Jaya. The electoral mechanism
was criticised as undemocratic. Imperfect though it
was, it did allow for village level input but
implementation was apparently uneven.

A. Reports of government interference

In line with the perdasi, the government appointed
electoral committees to organise the process, and
monitoring committees to oversee it. However, it
appointed the provincial branch office of the Ministry
of Home Affairs, the National Unity Office (Badan
Kesatuan Negara or kesbang), to manage overall
coordination of the process, which disappointed many
locals hoping for an independent body.

Governor Salossa cited time pressures, arguing that it
would be more efficient to use an existing institution
than to establish a new one.

In accordance with the perdasi, the electoral and
monitoring committees began the process of
disseminating information about the structure and
function of the MRP and the procedure for selecting
representatives for the fourteen electoral areas in
September 2005.

Although they managed to visit all of Papua's 29
districts, the teams were not able to complete their
work before the process was accelerated in early
October.

Many complained that the public outreach was
inadequate for people to make sufficiently informed
choices. And the final selections of MRP
representatives were reportedly made directly by staff
of the provincial kesbang office in some cases,
seriously undermining the MRP's legitimacy in those
areas. This problem was not universal, however, and
community consultations and elections were conducted
faithfully in many other areas. Electoral Area IV
(Biak-Numfor and Supiori) was regularly cited as an
example of a transparent process.

B. Opposition of religious institution

Before the perdasi was issued, the Catholic Church,
the major Protestant denominations and the Provincial
Islamic Council had already informally apportioned the
fourteen seats among themselves without any serious
argument. As the establishment of the MRP drew nearer,
however, support from all major religious institutions
began to waver. This was in part a response to reports
from their congregations of manipulation and political
interference in the process. Many Papuan religious
leaders also felt they were too often drawn into
political disputes between the provincial and central
governments and that this compromised their primary
social role.

Until a few weeks before the MRP was inaugurated, most
religious institutions remained unwilling to
participate. They were eventually brought on board,
however, by prominent local Special Autonomy
advocates, who convinced key church leaders that the
MRP had to be given a chance. "I had to acknowledge
that even if it wasn't perfect, the MRP was one of the
best hopes to get the voices of Papuans heard and I
realised I had a responsibility to try and get some
good people into it", one church leader explained.

All the major churches and the Papuan Islamic Council
then nominated representatives. Most religious
institutions did not nominate representatives
directly, however, but used their "intellectual
institutions", insulating the religious institutions
themselves from the politics they were keen to avoid.

C. Rejection by the Dewan Adat

The Dewan Adat also formally shunned the MRP.
Frustrated and disillusioned with the lack of progress
since 2001, it passed a resolution at its annual
plenary in February 2005 rejecting Law 21 on Special
Autonomy and Government Regulation 54 on the MRP,
arguing that "its most important elements had been
revised and emasculated by the Ministry of Home
Affairs without having consulted the Papuan customary
community". In a press conference at the conclusion of
that meeting, the Dewan Adat announced it would set a
deadline of 15 August for the government to take
concrete steps toward implementing Special Autonomy
before it officially turned its back on the law.

On 12 August 2005, the Dewan Adat held a protest,
reportedly funded by Golkar politician Yorrys Raweyai,
outside Papua's provincial parliament at which it
symbolically handed Special Autonomy back to the
central government. Several thousand people joined
this rally, testament to Papuans' frustration with the
slow and inconsistent implementation of Special
Autonomy but not a wholesale rejection of the law.
Indeed, several prominent Papuans leading the
demonstration are now members of the MRP.

Even the Dewan Adat leadership quietly admits that the
return of Law 21 was a symbolic protest designed to
spur reevaluation of the law. As the Secretary of the
Dewan Adat, Fadhal al Hamid, told Crisis Group:

We want to begin the whole discussion again. We're
prepared to talk about revising special autonomy or
designing a new law ­ the concept is not dead, just

the implementation of this version.

Despite its rejectionist stance, the Dewan Adat
participates actively in the MRP through informal
channels. It has no members in the body but its
leadership has close relationships with a significant
proportion of MRP representatives, and the two
institutions share many goals.

D. Other Civil Society Groups

Willy Mandowen, the Secretary General of the Papuan
Presidium Council (Presidium Dewan Papua, PDP), a
pro-independence organisation formed in 2000 from the
Papuan People's Congress, stated that Papuan voters do
not consider the MRP representative: The people are
now in the process of forming their own MRP which
truly represents the cultural, tribal groups in West
Papua ­ not this 42 [-member MRP] which is

marginalising the genuine participation of West
Papuans in the process of decision-making.

Although the Presidium enjoyed widespread support when
it was established, it has disintegrated since the
death of its charismatic leader Theys Eluay, in
November 2001. There is no evidence a parallel
structure is being formed. In practice there are
strong links between the PDP and the MRP. MRP Chairman
Agus Alue Alua is the PDP's Deputy Secretary General,
and there are at least four other PDP members on the
MRP. This initially made the central government
nervous but it has been somewhat reassured by Alua's
commitment to working within the framework of Special
Autonomy. And the MRP's Deputy Chairman, Frans
Wospakrik, former rector of Cenderawasih University,
was one of the main authors of the Special Autonomy
Law and is widely respected and trusted by both the
Jayapura and Jakarta elites.

On 31 October 2005, the day the MRP was inaugurated,
there was a demonstration of about 100 people in
Jayapura, organised by a pro-independence group called
the United Front for the West Papuan People's Struggle
(Front Pepera Papua Barat); another 100 Papuan
students in Jogjakarta rejected the MRP and Special
Autonomy. A broad spectrum of local non-governmental
organisations and religious groups in Jayapura and
Manokwari welcomed the MRP, however. Most acknowledged
that while there were problems with the selection of
some members, the majority are genuinely
representative and committed to defending Papuan
rights.

IV. Role and Powers of the MRP

As a cultural representative body, the core mandate of
the MRP is to protect and defend the rights of
indigenous Papuans, particularly in the areas of
women's rights, customary law and religious matters.
It is also empowered to approve initiatives of the
provincial government and parliament in a number of
specific areas. The MRP is mandated under the Special
Autonomy Law and Government Regulation 54, among other
things, to give its "consideration and approval" on:

* the eligibility of electoral candidates for the
positions of governor and deputy governor proposed by
the provincial parliament, in relation to the
requirement that they are indigenous Papuans; *
special provincial regulations proposed by the
provincial parliament and government in order to
implement specific provisions of the Special Autonomy
Law (peraturan daerah khusus or perdasus); * contracts
between the central government or the provincial
government and third parties for work in the province,
in particular those which concern the rights of
indigenous Papuans; and * any planned pemekaran
(division) of new provinces in Papua.

Regulation 54 states that if the MRP does not give its
approval within seven days for gubernatorial or vice
gubernatorial candidates, or 30 days in the case of
perdasus, pemekaran and cooperation with third
parties, its approval is automatically assumed.

However, neither the Special Autonomy Law nor
Regulation 54 on the MRP addresses the contingency of
MRP refusal to endorse any of these policies. When
Crisis Group asked government officials and academics
in Jakarta and Jayapura, the answer was invariably
that this was not clear from the law and would
essentially be left to political negotiation between
the MRP and the Papuan parliament. There is a more
general article in the Special Autonomy Law, however,
which the home affairs minister is reportedly fond of
citing, which states that "the [central] government is
authorised to overrule the Perdasus, Perdasi and
Governor's decisions". The MRP's authority in
approving gubernatorial and vice gubernatorial
candidates was put to the test just over two weeks
after its inauguration.

A. The First Test: Gubernatorial Candidates

Although Chairman Agus Alue Alua was careful to stress
that the MRP's role in approving the candidates was to
make a recommendation to the parliament rather than a
binding decision, its evaluation of the gubernatorial
candidates was widely seen (including by many of its
members) as the first real test of the MRP's
authority.

On 16 November 2005 the Papuan parliament submitted
the names of five pairs of proposed gubernatorial and
vice gubernatorial candidates to the MRP for approval
as indigenous Papuans. On 18 November the MRP
announced that of the ten hopefuls, two vice
gubernatorial candidates, Komaruddin Watubun and
Mohammad Musa'ad, were not indigenous Papuans and,
therefore, not eligible to contest the election.

The case of Komaruddin Watubun was uncontroversial.
Neither of his parents is ethnic Papuan. He and his
running mate, Barnabas Suebu, and the coalition of
parties supporting the pair, accepted the verdict and
began making preparations for a replacement. The
decision on Musa'ad, however, sparked hours of heated
debate within the MRP and violent protests outside in
which 27 people including eleven police were injured.

According to the MRP's definition, an indigenous
Papuan is a person of the Melanesian race, whose
mother and father are Papuan, with patrilineal
heritage, and who has a cultural base with a local
language, a Papuan tribe, a village to which he or she
belong, and a customary tradition (adat istiadat).
Although Musa'ad's mother is a Papuan from FakFak, his
father is of Arab descent. Since he did not fulfil the
MRP's first criterion, he was not formally assessed on
the others.

According to the Special Autonomy Law, there are two
possible definitions of an indigenous Papuan: * a
person of the Melanesian race, comprising native
ethnic groups in Papua province; or * a person
accepted and acknowledged as an indigenous Papuan by
the local customary community.

Musa'ad was only assessed on the first basis. The same
two categories are used in provincial regulation No 4
of 2005 for members of the MRP itself. Neither
contains any stipulation on patrilineal heritage. If
Musa'ad had been assessed on the second criteria, the
acceptance of his customary community, he would have
had a strong case. Indeed one MRP member who was a
customary leader from the same (Bombarari) tribe
declared his support for Musa'ad during the debate,
but when it was put to a vote, he was rejected.

The majority of MRP members felt that even if Musa'ad
identified as Papuan, could claim some recognition
from locals, and as one of the authors of the Special
Autonomy Law, was clearly committed to indigenous
rights, he still did not fit their criteria. Many MRP
members are deeply committed to the principle of
"full-blooded Papuans, with black skin and frizzy
hair", as one member emphatically described it.

Following the announcement of its decision on 18
November, an angry crowd of Musa'ad's supporters
gathered outside the MRP's temporary office, pushed
past security guards to break down the door and
threatened that unless the decision was reversed they
would return with supporters and burn down the MRP
Secretariat. Although there was no subsequent violence
against the MRP, hundreds protested outside the
provincial electoral commission the following day, 19
November, while MRP Chairman Agus Alue Alua was
meeting with its staff. When Agus came out and
addressed the crowd, reiterating the MRP's decision,
some protestors threw rocks and other objects, and a
clash with police ensued.

In the wake of the riot, a delegation of officials
from Jakarta, including representatives from Home
Affairs, the national police and the National
Intelligence Agency, came to Jayapura to ask the MRP
for clarification, warning it might be overstepping
its mandate as a cultural representative body.
Individual members of the provincial parliament also
appealed to the MRP to reconsider its decision on
Musa'ad, but it stood firm, and the parliament as a
whole supported its decision. On 23 November, the
parliament requested the New Papua Coalition and the
Trans-Archipelagic Coalition Party to propose
alternative vice gubernatorial candidates.

That the parliament upheld its controversial decision
is a victory for the MRP and sets a precedent for the
weight of its recommendations.

The ruling itself, however, was not in line with the
Special Autonomy Law and is regarded by many Papuans
and non-Papuans alike as politicised and unjust.

-end/1 of 3: continues...

------------------------------------------
Joyo Indonesia News Service
------------------------------------------



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