Don’t Leave Your Trust to the Unprofessional

Don’t Leave Your Trust to the Unprofessional

This writing is written to respond the article entitled “When PA Changes The Orientation” by Jasiran, member of DPM Unsyiah and a student majoring Sociology.  The article can be accessed on

The core of Jasiran’s article is the recognition of the Republic of Indonesia based on the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia on the features and specificities of the region of Aceh stipulated in Act No. 11 of 2006 on the Act of Aceh Government (UUPA). The Memorandum of Understanding between the Indonesian government and Free Aceh Movement (GAM) or Helsinki MoU signed on August 15, 2005, is a form of reconciliation to end a bloody conflict for three decades.

In accordance with a grain of derivative Act of Aceh Government (UUPA) in chapter XI, article 75 and 76 on the Local Political Parties, the Acehnese can form local political parties. Based on the article, Aceh Party (PA) was formed on 19 February 2007. The PA is a political home that was initially set for former GAM combatants who wanted to develop Aceh after the peace agreement. However, for some people, the PA is regarded as the ideological successor of resistance in another form.

Since the establishment, the board of Aceh Party has begun to restructure the caretaker of DPA (Aceh Leadership Council), DPW (Regional Leadership Council), and also the structure of the branch council, up to the village level. This is what distinguishes this party with National party. Many of the combatants from GAM were selected to fill the position in PA management board. There are so many things that have been passed by the PA until today.

The party of Aceh has filled the democracy of Aceh for nine years. The PA’s existence is undeniable for the other party, even national party. Almost in every election, PA always gains so many votes at both the provincial and district/city. Therefore, many politicians in each region want to join with PA. In 2009 election, PA reached 1,007,173 votes (47%) to dominate the provincial parliament with 33 seats of the 69 seats available in provincial parliament (DPRA). (Serambi, 04.09.2009). The party made by former GAM combatants, very quickly turns into a gathering place for the pragmatists. The PA elites have been complacent with the delish of legislature padded seat, a super luxury car, a bed made of a comfortable mahogany interior it feels like sleeping in Jepara, plus the allowance given every month.

This makes the party elites are stuck in the luxuries of life and the comfort of being a public official in the legislature. However, through the facilities of public money given to officials to meet all the needs of their livelihood, the officials themselves become a boomerang for the society. Perhaps it is because they’re no longer serving the public, instead they ask for public to serve them, while in fact, basically house of representative members are also a place for people to share and complain their aspirations.

As the result, in the recent legislative election in last two years, PA was able to obtain only 29 seats out of 81 DPRA seats. Now we can see the glory of PA has started to fade due to the political dynamics played by the PA elites. A significant decrease of votes that was caused by the Aceh Party internal conflict, then led to the establishment of Aceh National Party. This party had spread the sweet promises that made the people of Aceh frustrated and get sick of it.

In last April, the Council Meeting of the Aceh Party (PA) Ban Sigom Aceh 2016 held at Hotel Grand Aceh, Banda Aceh, on Sunday (10/4), was in chaos and reportedly triggered clash between fellow cadres. The riot created by the party political elites has raised diverse speculation about the existence of the party to run for the next election. By looking at the dynamics that occur within the party of Aceh today, then it is possible that the public will turn back to choose the national parties in the upcoming election. In this condition, the national party could seize the moment to take the hearts of the people who were bored with local parties.

Don’t Leave Your Trust to the Unprofessional

Actually, almost all political parties in Indonesia had similar problems to what have been experienced by Aceh Party, namely lack professionalism in managing the internal conflicts and running the good bureaucratic management system. However, such condition is generally experienced by new parties, while most problems the old parties have is the excessive political passion.

Aceh people has actually given a mandate to the Aceh Party to lead the Veranda of Mecca province during the last 10 years, but it seems that the people of Aceh are disappointed with the Aceh Party as illustrated by Jasiran’s writing. Therefore, an important message for the people of Aceh in the elections of 2017 is not to put the trust on the incumbents who have been disappointing and breaking the political promises to the people of Aceh.

Facing the elections in 2017, it is fine for the people of Aceh to set their choice to the National Party or Local Party which support nationalist leaders for governor / regent / mayor or pro-NKRI figures in which these figures certainly have the ability to lead, to create positive solidarity in the community, and to be a good administrator in creating a clean government that will not abuse the trust that has been given for becoming the leader in Aceh.

MASDARSADA*) Masdarsada is an observer of Aceh issues and Bekasi-based political researcher at LSISI Jakarta.

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