National parties do not want to accept former GAM members

Tempo Interactive – April 13, 2006
GAM representative Faisal Putra (Tempo)
GAM representative Faisal Putra (Tempo)

Rini Kustiani, Jakarta – The Free Aceh Movement (GAM) believes that the national political parties do not want former GAM members to joint them. “Many of our [former] members have wanted to become members of national political parties, but have been refused”, said GAM representative Faisal Putra in a discussion titled “Building a Sustainable Front for Peace in Aceh” that was held in Jakarta today.

With regard to the Draft Law on Aceh Government (RUU-PA), Putra explained the important points that must be contained in the draft include on the authority of the Aceh government, local political parties, economic development and forms of government. “What must unequivocally be regulated in the RUU-PA is the issue of authority”, explained Putra.

On the question of the national parties not wanting to accept former GAM members into their parties, Ahmad Farhan Hamid, an Acehnese member of the House of Representatives Special (DPR) Committee on the RUU-PA said he regards this as a problem of causality. “It is just a causal question, and we need to understand what the background to these refusals are”, he said. He added that this is because his party (the National Mandate Party, PAN) is ready to nominate former GAM members if indeed they want to be nominated by PAN.

With regard to the formation of local political parties and independent candidates, Hamid explained that most of the fractions in the DPR have responded positively to the formation of local parties. “Likewise with regard to independent candidates, because this is regarded as being in accordance with Law Numbers 2 and 3 an Law Number 18/2001”, he explained.

Within the draft there are a number of important points including on Aceh remaining a part of the Indonesian Republic, rehabilitating Aceh’s special status and the articles taken from the Memorandum of Understanding between GAM and the Indonesian government signed in Helsinki on August 15 last year.

[Translated by James Balowski.]