Friday, April 18, 2014

Partai Aceh (PA) leading in election vote tally . . . so far

The Jakarta Post’s March 10 “Election Watch” department posts “Good prospects for national
parties in Aceh elections,” with PA sewing up victories in the northeast districts, including Aceh Timur.  The region remains home to a majority of ex-GAM combatants and it was on this land that the majority of the conflict—and the death and destruction—happened.

The PA victory lines up with what our guys-on-the-street have been telling us, despite PNA’s protests to the contrary.  Which is sort of sad.  Even though the choice is really between sad and sadder, when it comes to PA vs PNA.

People who spoke to the Post’s reporter predicted a not-so-overwhelming victory by PA this year, as opposed to the 60% they had in the previous election “because many party cadres in legislative and executive positions have forgotten their supporters,” referring to the poor conditions of the party’s grassroots followers and “the appalling state of the road leading to Cinta Raja [Aceh Tamiang].”

The article also quotes political leaders as reporting that PNA now has the majority of support, and that “almost 70 percent of ex-GAM combatants in the KPA [Aceh Transition Committee] and Aceh Party had jumped ship to the PNA.”   As we know, one of the cofounders of PNA is former Governor Irwandi Yusuf, now PNA Consultative Assembly Chairman.

“Chairman of the Aceh Party in Aceh Tamiang, Sahar, said although many ex-GAM members had turned to the PNA, the Aceh Party had not lost its relevance and the two parties would not sever relations. ‘Despite the differences in our visions, we remain brothers and will later develop a legislative coalition,’ he said.”

Well, that’ll be something to see.

I don’t know whether our JMD folks are just hearing the bellicose bloviating of Aceh Party Chairman and Deputy Governor Muzakir Manaf or if current vote counts (which are still not final) are actually bearing this out, but apparently PA is now in the lead as far as legislative seats go.  In written statements, “Muzakir emphasized the word ‘victory’. According to him, if the party failed, “Aceh will return to political darkness, leaving only a stretch of land at the tip of Sumatra without meaning and dignity.”   
And also without stoning, caning, or mandatory jilbabs.  Go figure.

See the full article at:

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