Electoral/Political Party Reform: MoU between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

(15 AUGUST, 2005)

1.2 Political participation

1.2.1 As soon as possible and not later than one year from the signing of this MoU, GoI agrees to and will facilitate the establishment of Aceh-based political parties that meet national criteria. Understanding the aspirations of Acehnese people for local political parties, GoI will create, within one year or at the latest 18 months from the signing of this MoU, the political and legal conditions for the establishment of local political parties in Aceh in consultation with Parliament. The timely implementation of this MoU will contribute positively to this end.

1.2.2 Upon the signature of this MoU, the people of Aceh will have the right to nominate candidates for the positions of all elected officials to contest the elections in Aceh in April 2006 and thereafter.

1.2.3 Free and fair local elections will be organised under the new Law on the Governing of Aceh to elect the head of the Aceh administration and other elected officials in April 2006 as well as the legislature of Aceh in 2009.

1.2.4 Until 2009 the legislature of Aceh will not be entitled to enact any laws without the consent of the head of the Aceh administration.

1.2.5 All Acehnese residents will be issued new conventional identity cards prior to the elections of April 2006.

1.2.6 Full participation of all Acehnese people in local and national elections will be guaranteed in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia.

1.2.7 Outside monitors will be invited to monitor the elections in Aceh. Local elections may be undertaken with outside technical assistance.

1.2.8 There will be full transparency in campaign funds.

Implementation History

2005

Minimum Implementation

The draft autonomy bill which was initiated in September 2005 provided for the establishment of local political parties that would facilitate the process of transforming the GAM into a local political party.1 In December, the government of Indonesia was about to submit the draft law to the Indonesian parliament.2

  • 1. "Aceh: So Far, So Good," International Crisis Group Asia Briefing N°44, December 13, 2005
  • 2. "Controversy over drafting of constitution for Indonesia' Aceh continues," BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, December 22, 2005.
2006

Intermediate Implementation

The draft bill was submitted to the parliament in January.3 and the bill was passed by the parliament on 11 June.4 As provided in the accord, new conventional identity cards were distributed before November elections.5 Just before the local elections, the bill received presidential assent and became a law. Provisions related to local political parties were discussed in Articles 78 and 79 of the law. The law also establishes an Independent Election Commission (KIP) and gives authority to require audit and announce the report on the donation of campaign fund.

As provided in the accord, elections took place on 11 December 2006. In the election, leader of Free Aceh Movement, Irawandi Yusuf won the elections and set to become the first elected governor of the province. Official results were set to be announced in January 2007.6

  • 3. "Indonesia submits draft law on Aceh to parliament," Agence France Presse, January 27, 2006.
  • 4. "Indonesian media reacts to passing of Aceh governance law," BBC Monitoring, July 12, 2006.
  • 5. "Indonesia's Aceh polls set to take place without foreign monitors," Agence France Presse, June 13, 2006.
  • 6. "Former Rebel Wins in Aceh's First Elections in Indonesia," Voice of America News, December 27, 2006.
2007

Intermediate Implementation

The Free Aceh Movement (GAM) established a political party called Aceh Party after clarifying the symbol and flag of the party, which initially matched that of GAM.7

  • 7. Ben Hillman, "Power-sharing and political party engineering in conflict-prone societies: the Indonesian experiment in Aceh," Conflict, Security & Development 20 (2012): 149-169, 2012.
2008

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments on political party and electoral reform in 2008.

2009

Full Implementation

The election for a provincial legislature took place on 9 April 2009 and the Aceh Party secured 46.01% votes, which gave them 33 seats out of 69 seats in the proportional system. Five other local parties did not meet the 5% threshold required by law to gain a seat.8

  • 8. Ibid; "Former rebel party looks likely to dominate Aceh parliament," Japan Economic Newswire, April 20, 2009.
2010

Full Implementation

No further developments related to political party and electoral reform reported.

2011

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2012

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2013

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2014

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.