Ahtisaari’s First Comment after Election in Aceh

Martti Ahtisaari, a former Finnish president, who brokered the peace deal between the Indonesian government and the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in 1995, on February 16 expressed his first public comment on Aceh since the successful transfer of power from the former Indonesian governor.
“It was a fair democratic election, and we all came through that process successfully,” said Ahtisaari, according to the Jakarta Post.
“It is a case of so far, so good,” he praised, but urged for quick reforms of Aceh’s new officials, in which most of them are former separatists, who have promised to quickly implement to raise living standards of people in the province.
The former separatist leader Irwandi Yusuf was elected as a governor in Aceh’s first free election in December with 38 percent of the total votes counted, winning along with Muhammad Nazar as a deputy governor of Aceh.
“I hope that wisdom will prevail and that the new governor will utilize all the available expertise in Aceh to carry out the reforms he and many others want to carry out,” Ahtisaari told the Associated Press after a meeting with NATO’s secretary general.
Irwandi Yusuf and Muhammed Nazar were sworn in with a copy of Islam’s holy Koran above their head, pledging to be loyal to Indonesia’s state ideology and constitution in an inauguration function at the Provincial Legislative Assembly (DPRD) in Banda Aceh last two weeks.
The election was 16 months after the government of Indonesia and the separatist Free Aceh Movement signed an agreement to end the three-decade ceasefire that killed 15,000 people.

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