Hundreds reject results of elections in Aceh and Papua

Source – April 26, 2004
Student protest rejects election results (Satu Harapan)
Student protest rejects election results (Satu Harapan)

Alisa P., Jakarta – Hundreds of demonstrators from Aceh Papua Solidarity (Solidaritas Aceh Papua, SAP) held a demonstration at the offices of the National Elections Commission (KPU) on Jalan Imam Bonjol in Central Jakarta. The demonstrators were rejecting the results of the elections in Aceh and West Papua which they said were ridden with fraud and military interference. In a statement signed by SAP coordinator Arie Arianto, SAP said that they absolutely rejected the outcome of the elections in Aceh and Papua.

SAP also revealed the various forms of military intervention during the elections. They said that the elections in Aceh and Papua became a means to score votes for [the state ruling party of former President Suharto] Golkar and [President Megawati Sukarnoputri’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle] PDI-P and political parties with links to the military. SAP said therefore that they also reject holding presidential elections in Aceh and Papua if Aceh is still under martial law and likewise if the issue of the separation of Papua [into three new provinces remains unresolved] and military intimidation continues.

Also present at the action was Dita Indah Sari, the coordinator of the United Opposition Front (Barisan Oposisi Bersatu, BOB). Sari said that martial law had brought immense suffering to the people of Aceh and had stifled democracy in a region rich in natural resources. BOB therefore called on the Indonesian people to unite to form a people’s government. Only a people’s government will be capable of resolving the Aceh question democratically and distance itself from militaristic methods, said Sari during a break in the action.

The action, which lasted some 20 minutes attracted a great deal of interest from passersby, however for a number of reasons, police had not given permission to demonstrate for an extended period in front of the KPU. Before the action broke up however, SAP was able to read a statement which as well as rejecting the election results in Aceh and Papua, urged the Megawati regime to revoke martial law and not to extend it for an additional period, and to resolve the Aceh question peacefully and democratically through dialogue involving all elements of Acehnese society. The also rejected the separation of Papua and called for the broadest possible dialogue and democracy in Papua. At the end of the statement SAP explicitly rejected the nomination of a presidential candidate originating from the military.

[Translated by James Balowski.]