Jakarta – Megawati Sukarnoputri, the former president of Indonesia, says she does not agree with the existence of local parties in Aceh.
According to Megawati, the existence of local parties is heavily loaded with ideological rather than managerial issues. “Local parties which are linked to regionalism, ethnicity, invariably represent an entry point for efforts to succeed [from Indonesia]”, she said during a class at the National Defense Institute in Jakarta on Thursday July 28.
Megawati said that local parties are not in accordance with the understanding of nationhood or integration. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) will endeavor to the fullest, through the People’s Representative Assembly (DPR), to prevent the internationalisation of the Aceh question.
If this effort is unsuccessful, Megawati, as the general chairperson of the PDI-P will call on all party members and bodies, in the name of nationalism, to continue to struggle though those means that are available constitutionally and legally.
The Association of Anti-Military Activists (Hantam) meanwhile, says that although there are many who have expressed doubt, the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) have succeeded in agreeing on sensitive issues for discussion. “Indonesia and GAM have emerged as victors and have succeeded in getting past difficult issues”, they wrote in a release received by Aceh Kita.
Hantam, an organisation established by student activists from the Ar-Raniry State Institute of Islamic Studies, also supports the formation of local political parties in Aceh. It is through these local parties wrote Hantam, that former GAM members can participate in the political process in Aceh. “We believe, the presence of local political parties in Indonesia at this time is a necessity”, they said.
The presence of local parties said Hantam would bring benefits to the people of Aceh. Hantam believes that to date, the presence of national political parties in Aceh has not been able to accommodate the interests of the Acehnese people.
“It is hoped that the presence of local political parties can accommodate the interests of the people in the regions”, wrote Hantam, “[It will] also broaden people’s political participation and strengthen the constituency’s control over the political parties and their representatives in parliament”. [asf]