European Union to Send Election Observers to Aceh
Aceh is getting ready for its 11 December elections for governor and for the heads of 19 regencies. In terms of the number of posts contested, it will be the largest direct election ever held in Indonesia. More than 200 candidates are running. Among the candidates for the governor’s post is Irwandi Yusuf, who represented the former rebel group GAM during the disarmament and troop withdrawal stage of the 2005 peace agreement.
The European Union has agreed to send observers to monitor the elections, at the invitation of the Indonesian government. The Aceh Monitoring Mission, which has supervised the implementation of the peace agreement since the fall of 2005, has extended its stay in Aceh until December (with just 36 monitors remaining in a mission that originally had more than 200 staff), but will not be in involved in election monitoring.