MPR opposes GAM forming local political parties in Aceh

Source – July 14, 2005
People’s Consultative Assembly speaker Hidayat Nurwahid (Indonesia Raya)
People’s Consultative Assembly speaker Hidayat Nurwahid (Indonesia Raya)

M. Rizal Maslan, Jakarta – The Free Aceh Movement’s (GAM) wish to form local political parties in Aceh has been in vain. The People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) has rejected the proposal because it violates the law on political parties.

MPR chairperson Hidayat Nurwahid supports the government’s promise not to accommodate GAM’s wish to establish local political parties in Aceh. “If indeed GAM is no longer demanding independence and GAM acknowledges that Aceh is a part of RI [the Republic of Indonesia], that means that GAM acknowledges the laws and regulations which is in force in RI. One of these, is the law on political parties where [it stipulates] there are to be no local political parties”, explained Nurwahid at the Niaga Building on Jalan Sudirman in Jakarta on July 14.

According to Nurwahid, the best thing is to further maximise special autonomy in Aceh. “If there local political parties then later those asking [to establish local parties] will not just be Aceh but in other regions. Aceh has already been given special autonomy and this can be maximumised within the framework of NKRI1 though the political parties that exist”, said the former president of the Prosperity and Justice Party.

The political parties he continued have already agreed to and are prepared to nominate or support people who have been active in GAM if they wish to run in the regional elections. The other condition, which must be fulfilled, is the proposal that GAM change its name.

“If GAM already acknowledges NKRI [and are] no longer demanding independence, I think that they can be involved in the regional elections and no longer use the name GAM but change their name to the Aceh Development Movement (Gerakan Aceh Membangun), the Advance Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Maju) or the Aceh Prosperity Movement (Gerakan Aceh Mensejahterakan). If [they] use the acronym GAM it will still reflect of their desires”, he explained. (aan)


1. NKRI – Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia, the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. A term which is often used in the context of nationalism

[Translated by James Balowski.]