Megawati worried draft Aceh law a means to seek independence

Tempo Interactive – February 16, 2006
PDI-P chairperson Megawati Sukarnoputri (Okezone)
PDI-P chairperson Megawati Sukarnoputri (Okezone)

Yophiandi Kurniawan, Jakarta – The general chairperson of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Megawati Sukarnoputri, is pessimistic that the implementation of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the government and the Free Aceh Movement will be in accordance with expectations. Her party therefore will not take responsibility if the implementation of the agreement is to open the way for Aceh to separate from Indonesia.

“If all kinds of things [start happening], we will not interfere”, she said in a discussion on the Draft Law on a Government for Aceh at the PDI-P’s national headquarters in Jakarta today.

The former president also questioned the formulation of the MoU because GAM is a political movement seeking independence. This is the reason that Megawati doubts that the content of the draft law refers to the concept of the unitary state. “The process (of formulating the MoU) itself was wrong”.

Also present at the discussion was the former governor of the National Resilience Institute (Lemhannas) Ermaya Suradinata, the former deputy chief of the Army General Kiki Syahnakri, University of Indonesia legal expert Hikmahanto Juana, Bivitri Susanti from the Center for Legal and Policy Studies and Agung Wijaya from the Indonesian Center for Democracy and Human Rights (Demos)

Yesterday, the general chairperson of the National Awakening Party’s advisory board, Abdurrahman Wahid, said that the government had committed a huge mistake in making the MoU with GAM, a group that wants to separate Aceh from Indonesia. “How can we have reached an agreement with them?”, he asked.

[Translated by James Balowski.]