Helsinki, 15 July 2005
REGARDING GoI PROPOSAL ON POLITICAL PARTIES FOR ACHEH
Helsinki - FINLAND.
GAM EXPRESSES ITS DEEP DISAPPOINTMENT IN THE STATEMENT MADE BY THE HEAD OF THE GOVERNMENT OF INDONESIA NEGOTIATING TEAM, HAMID AWALUDDIN, ON LOCAL POLITICAL PARTIES IN ACHEH
State of Acheh Ministry of Information P.O. BOX 130, S-145 01 Nosborg Sweden Tel : +46 8 531 83833 Fax: +46 8 531 91275
The Free Acheh Movement (GAM) expresses its deep disappointment in the statement made by the head of the Government of Indonesia (GoI) negotiating team, Hamid Awaluddin, on local political parties in Acheh.
Mr Awaluddin's comments in a media conference last night followed a proposal by the GoI delegation to GAM which under the rules of the Helsinki peace talks were subject to confidential discussion.
After offering in writing to GAM for GoI to facilitate the establishment of local political parties, Mr Awaluddin told journalists the offer was for GoI to work with Jakarta political parties to create a national structure for GAM to exist as a national political party.
This offer was put by GoI to GAM in the negotiations on 13 July, and was comprehensively rejected by GAM at that time as both undemocratic and unworkable.
'The answer to the problem of political parties for Acheh is not for GoI to offer GAM a supposed sweetheart deal that excludes the possibility of other political parties;' GAM spokesman Mr Bakhtiar Abdullah said. 'These peace talk are not about an arrangement that ensures GAM is given power in Acheh, but is about introducing genuine democracy to Acheh.'
'GAM explained its fundamental objection to Mr Awaluddin on Wednesday 13 July, and is surprised and disappointed that he is now trying to sell this undemocratic proposal to the media,' Mr Bakhtiar Abdullah said. 'If GAM was to agree to this arrangement, it would mean that GAM would agree to be given privileges that would not exist for other sectors of Acheh political society. GAM has therefore rejected this proposal.'
Mr Bakhtiar Abdullah also noted that beyond subverting democracy, GoI's proposal would not be sustainable and could not ensure political representation for Acheh.
'The suggestion that Jakarta-based political parties donate members to GAM to establish party branches throughout Indonesia at best reflects a temporary and ad hoc approach to a long-term structural problem,' Mr Bakhtiar Abdullah said.
Mr Bakhtiar Abdullah said that GAM will not retreat from its commitment to the full democratic principles of unrestricted representation and participation in the political process, including the establishment of local political parties.
'GAM hopes that GoI will now consider GAM's written response to its proposal, and come back to the table with a genuinely democratic proposal to allow these peace talks to reach a successful conclusion.'
Mr Bakhtiar Abdullah
Helsinki 15 July 2005
Received from: Central Military Command