Aceh Elections Likely to be Held in August 2006

The Indonesian government is confident that gubernatorial elections for Aceh can be held in August, and it has begun registering the estimated 2.6 million eligible voters among Aceh’s population of about 4 million.

This reflects optimism that the Indonesian parliament will soon pass the necessary legislation for the elections to proceed.  It is also expected that independent candidates will be allowed to run, since time is too short for new political parties to be set up.  The Free Aceh Movement (GAM) has begun promoting independent candidates and is planning to establish a party in time for the 2009 national elections.

Legislators who are members of President Yudhoyono’s Democrat Party are pressing the government and parliament to ensure gender equality in the new Aceh governing law, including a provision to set aside 30 percent of official posts for women.

“Aceh Set to Elect Governor in August,” The Jakarta Post, 10 May 2006.