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Home >> World
UPDATED: 16:13, December 29, 2006
Former rebel Irwandi Yusuf wins Aceh election for governor
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Former Aceh rebel Irwandi Yusuf won the landmark first direct election for governor in Indonesia's Aceh province, the Aceh Independent Local Election Commission (KIP) officially announced on Friday.

Head of the commission M. Jafar said Irwandi has got the highest support of 38.20 percent of total votes on the Dec. 11 election.

"(The pair of) Irwandi and Muhammad Nazar win the gubernatorial election," Jafar told Xinhua on telephone from the province.

Political expert Anies Baswedan said that the new governor of Aceh will be challenged by managing a huge resources and gaining support from opposition in bureaucracy.

"What I am worry about is the capability of governing, it is more crucial," he told Xinhua.

Another rebel candidate of the vice governor, Hasbi Abdullah, who was teamed up with Ahmad Human Hamid from the Indonesian United Development Party, posted second position with 16.62 percent of supports, followed by another pair from the Indonesian biggest political party of Golkar, an official of the commission, Eva Mahdalena, said.

While two pairs with military background only got the lowest support, less than five percent, she said.

Many Acehneses said that they want to see a possibility of change for better to elect one from the rebel who have never involved in managing the province.

"Irwandi has showed that he understand the problem in the fields," said another political expert, Denny J.A.

Irwandi Yusuf had been a special staff of expert of contra- intelligence of the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM) from 2003 to 2004. He was a GAM military wing from 2001 to 2003.

He was then detained with the status of war prisoner in Banda Aceh, the capital of the province from 2003 to 2004.

Irwandi had also been the rebel negotiator with Jakarta from 2001 to 2002.

He made a comment on the result, saying that it indicates that Acehnese want a fundamental change in all aspect of life and governance.

Irwandi said he want to put a top priority on the economic development and acceleration of the ongoing reconstruction and rehabilitation in the northern tip of the Sumatra island.

Among the governor candidates, two of them are from military, two others are former rebels and the rest are government officials, clerics and member of national political party.

The Indonesian parliament endorsed a landmark law for Aceh province in July.

The GAM had struggled for an independent state since 1976, but then it ruled out its purpose of independence on the peace accord.

Aceh province was devastated by tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004. Over 170,000 people dead or missing in the disaster.

Source: Xinhua

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