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Jan 19, 2012 07:30 PST
The Jakarta Post
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Registration Compromise Will ‘Solve’ Aceh Election Conflict
Hotli Simanjuntak, The Jakarta Post, Banda Aceh
A candidate for the upcoming Aceh gubernatorial election has said that
the Constitutional Court’s recent ruling to re-open candidate
registration for a few days is a sensible compromise that will help
end the unrest in the province caused by tensions over next month’s
Muhammad Nazar is running for governor with running mate Nova Iriansyah.
He said that reopening registration would accommodate the demands of
candidates who wanted to register at the Independent Election
Commission in Aceh (KIP Aceh), including the candidates of the Aceh
“We hope that democracy in the election will be better this time, much
better than the 2009 and 2006 elections,” Nazar said on Wednesday.
After receiving several lawsuits from various circles, the
Constitutional Court ordered the Independent Election Commission on
Tuesday to re-open registration for the gubernatorial election, which
is scheduled for Feb. 16.
The order was made by Constitutional Court chief justice Mahfud MD
through an interlocutory decision on the dispute between KIP Aceh and
the Home Ministry in relation with the regional leadership election.
Under the decision, KIP Aceh was ordered to re-open registration for
another seven days.
According to Nazar, when viewed from a legal standpoint, the Aceh
election process has spawned various new cases that never existed
before in Indonesia.
Aceh has been hit by a string of shootings of late that many believe
are linked to the upcoming election.
“So, all of that has become knowledge and requires wisdom from every
party in responding them,”
Nazar said his campaign team was happy with the court’s decision.
“We have no problem with it. In fact, I earlier invited my party
colleagues to immediately register as candidates at KIP Aceh or
support those who have registered,” he said.
“Earlier, I thought my friends who wished to run no longer wanted to
register, but eventually they asked for the time to register. It’s OK,
the important thing is that Aceh is peaceful, there’s legal leeway and
democracy must improve and development continue,” he said.
Nazar also said that he hoped the central government would always
coordinate with existing stakeholders in Aceh.
The central government has been urged by the competing candidates to
carefully weigh its responses to developments in Aceh for the sake of
welfare and peace.
Nazar and Nova are backed by the Sira Party, a local party in Aceh,
and the Democratic Party.
“We are not worried that the number of candidates registering at KIP
might get bigger. So, no one should be angry, upset or create new
problems due to the Constitutional Court’s decision. We must accept
and support for the sake of the Aceh people, peace, justice and
democracy,” Nazar said.
The election in Aceh was moved back to February after the
Constitutional Court ordered KIP Aceh to reopen registration for
Meanwhile, the General Elections Commission (KPU) has insisted that
the gubernatorial election
in Aceh run as scheduled on Feb. 16 and that re-registration be
reopened for three days only, starting
“There will not be changes and the election will be on Feb. 16, 2012.
This is in line with the decision by the Constitutional Court. If it
is changed, it will be subject to a new lawsuit,” KPU member Endang
Sulastri said in Banda Aceh on Wednesday after meeting with
representatives from KIP Aceh.
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