REFLECTION

Environment 17 February 2017 Yayasan SHEEP Indonesia

Peaceful Election in Aceh

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With regards to the election of 2017, Aceh is the busiest province; with 20 city/district level elections and 1 provincial election. Aceh is also considered by many to be the most vulnerable to conflict.  Hence, the police sent additional security forces (1,900 mobile brigade personnel) from other areas to temporarily safeguard the election in Pilkada.

The situation in Aceh prior to election is relatively peaceful (in other words: it was not as many people outside of Aceh feared). Minor incidents did occur; for example in East Aceh, a civilian was shot two months before the election. East Aceh is deemed vulnerable to conflict because the candidates were former combatants. In many campaigns, they issued statements that implies violence or ethnic division. The positive thing is that people did not pay much attention to these statements.

In general, people in Aceh are smart and are able to make their own judgment and choice regarding the preferred candidate to chose, not least in the area where SHEEP (YSI) works. People are not bothered by the conflicts. Minor violent incidents are within normal bounds. They happened to a large extent to the fact that candidates were formed GAM fighters; so whoever wins the election would be a combatant aligned with the PA (Partai Aceh or Aceh Party). In Aceh, this may be a political strategy to keep Aceh under local control, particularly in conjunction with special autonomy policy.

Regardless, the election in Aceh is peaceful. People in Aceh is tired of conflict. They long for a peaceful life. Thus, provocative measures are not welcomed. (Husaini)

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Last modified on 22 February 2017