Turning point for Aceh

The province of Aceh is holding elections for only the second time since the 2005 peal deal that ended decades of conflict.

Five candidates, including the incumbent Irwandi Yusuf, are competing for the post of Governor, while dozens of others are running for positions as district heads and deputies.

The other candidates are the prominent ulema Abu Lampisang; the Aceh University Syiah Kuala rector Darni Daud; and former deputy governor Muhammad Nazar.

The National Human Rights Commission chairman Ifdhal Kasim said that the elections are being seen as a “turning point” for Aceh, which was devastated by the 2004 Tsunami and has been working to recover from its 30 year separatist war against Indonesian rule.

AFP reports that the Aceh elections supervisory committee chairman Nyak Arief Fadhillah Syah had noted numerous cases of violence and intimidation in the run-up to the poll:

“The potential for corruption is enormous, because of the possibility of terror and intimidation… to ensure victory for a particular candidate”.

Results are expected by April 15.

picture: eirianto.files.wordpress.com