Political tensions were expected to calm gradually in the once-restive Aceh after parties agreed to accept nominations of independent candidates on the condition that the gubernatorial election would be rescheduled.
In a meeting with the Aceh and Papua Desk at the House of Representatives, all local and national party functionaries in Aceh retracted their protests against the Constitutional Court’s controversial verdict on independent candidates to prevent the regulatory conflict from igniting into a greater conflict.
Mawardi, spokesman for the local and national parties, said the Acehnese didn’t want any more conflicts that would bring more heartache to Acehnese people. Therefore, all parties agreed to the Constitutional Court’s proposal and accepted the nomination of independent candidates, but they insisted that the election, slated for Nov. 14, 2011, must be rescheduled to amend the bylaw on local elections.
On the eve of the gubernatorial race, political conditions intensified as current Governor Irwandi Yusuf said he would seek reelection for a second term, which was not allowed under the 2006 Aceh Administration Law.
The law said that independents could only run once to allow former Free Aceh Merdeka (GAM) fighters and politicians who had not yet joined a party to run in the 2006 election.
By request of Acehnese people supporting Irwandy’s reelection, the Constitutional Court annulled the bylaw limiting independents to the first direct election in 2006.