Parties support nomination of former GAM members in elections

Source – July 7, 2005
Star Crescent Party chairperson and Forestry Minister MS Kaban (Detik)
Star Crescent Party chairperson and Forestry Minister MS Kaban (Detik)

Wilhendra Akmam, Jakarta – Ten political parties have agreed to support the nomination of former Free Aceh Movement (GAM) members in regional elections in Aceh in 2005-06. This is to be done taking note that GAM is prepared to conclude the negotiations with the Indonesian government in a peaceful manner.

This was the subject of a meeting of national figures, which was held at the home of Vice-president Jusuf Kalla on Jalan Diponegoro in Central Jakarta on the night of Wednesday July 7. The meeting was also attend by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a number of political party leaders and ministers of the Indonesian United Cabinet.

“In principle, all of the parties agree and support it, if GAM wants to conclude the negotiations with the government in a peaceful manner. We from the political parties won’t have any problems, [we] will even promote and support their nomination as local government heads”, said the general chairperson of the Star Crescent Party (PBB) and Forestry Minister MS Kaban.

The chairperson of the National Mandate Party (PAN) Abdillah Toha made similar comments. “For as long as it’s within the framework of the 1945 Constitution and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia1, we are open to the political participation of former GAM [members] if they want to nominate themselves”, he explained.

When asked if the meeting also discussed the issue of the establishing local political parties and if the political parties had come to an agreement with regard to there being local political parties, MS Kaban explained that there had been no agreement on the matter.

Kaban explained that his presence at the meeting was in his capacity as the chairperson of PBB. He also explained that the meeting was an initiative Golkar Party chairperson Jusuf Kalla. “He raised his views, and we responded. We see this as positive and still in accordance with the MPR decrees2”, he said.

The text of the written agreement which was signed by the 10 political parties reads: “We from the political parties, should a peace agreement be achieved with GAM, are prepared to provide opportunities for the nomination of former GAM [members] as prospective regents/deputy-regents, mayors/deputy-mayors, as well as the deputy-governor in the 2005-06 regional elections in Aceh.”

It should be noted that the nomination of former GAM members for the position of governor was not mentioned in the agreement. The 10 political parties which signed the agreement were the Golkar Party, the United Development Party (PPP), the National Awakening Party (PKB), PAN, the Star Reform Party (PBR), the Democratic Party (PD), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), PBB, the National Democratic Party (PDK) and the Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI). No Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) figures was involved in the meeting or agreement. (san)


1. Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia (NKRI), the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. A term which is often used in the context of nationalism and the desire to maintain the integrity of the Indonesian nation.

2. People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Decree Number No X/MPRRI/2001 and MPR Decree Number VI/MPR/2002 on resolving the Aceh question peacefully and with dignity.

[Translated by James Balowski.]