Papua Church Leader Warns Of ‘Unfair’ Gubernatorial Election
The Jakarta Post
Monday, April 11, 2011
Ina Parlina, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The death of a prominent Papuan leader has sparked concerns over the
security of the upcoming gubernatorial election in the volatile
GKI Papua synod deputy chairman Rev. Elimelekh D. Doirebo said that
the demise of former Papuan People’s Assembly speaker Agus Alue Alua
destroyed any expectations of a fair and safe election for the
province this September, as well as undermined the possibility of a
“Agus was very vocal in fighting for the rights of the Papuan people,
including supporting the policy that Papua local administration heads
must be Papuan,” he told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
Agus reportedly died Thursday at Dian Harapan Hospital in Jayapura.
Agus, who was re-elected to the Assembly for a second term, died soon
after being admitted to hospital. The cause of death is unknown.
Agus was known for his policies, including a decree stipulating that
Papua local administration heads and their deputies must be from the
region.“We believe Agus died as a result of the persistent
intimidation he faced,” Elimelekh said.
He claimed Agus faced threats especially from Barisan Merah Putih,
which wanted to oust the original members of the Assembly whom they
perceived as too radical in their defense of Papuan rights and their
opposition to special autonomy.
In June last year, rallies initiated by the original Assembly members
drew thousands in Jayapura, who issued 11 recommendations for a better
solution to the strife in Papua.
The protestors urged the central government to annul special autonomy,
which they claimed was a tool for the central government to win the
hearts of Papuans while toning down demands for independence.
They also called for a dialog mediated by neutral international
parties to address Papuan grievances.
“Several Papuans in Jakarta once came to Papua to meet Agus and
basically forced him to stop criticizing the election of new Assembly
members and special autonomy. They also forced him to step down,”
Later, he added, Agus was removed from the roster of new Assembly
members following accusations he supported separatism.
Hana Hikoyabi, who was also re-elected to the Assembly, was likewise
disqualified. As of today, the new elected Assembly members, who will
serve until 2016, have not been inaugurated.
The GKI, along with Papua’s KINGMI synod and Papua’s Baptist churches
synod, boast a following of more than 1.3 million members, most of
them native Papuans.
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