March 22, 2012, 9:25 p.m.
International Crisis Group (ICG) has released an update briefing entitled "Indonesia: Averting Election Violence in Aceh." The briefing is in regards to the April 9, 2012 election that will have the people of Aceh voting to elect a governor, a vice governor, 17 district heads and deputies. Currently, the likelihood of acts of violence before the election are high and potentially even higher after April 9. Whether or not violence erupts in Aceh seems to be dependent on several factors such as:
the number of election monitors deployed and the speed with which they get to Aceh. The campaign is already well underway for all practical purposes, even though officially it does not begin until 22 March. The monitoring needs to start now, not days before the election;
the speed with which the police can identify and arrest the gunmen responsible for shootings in December 2011 and January 2012 that took the lives of ten men, most of them poor Javanese workers. The killings are widely believed to have been politically motivated;
the ability of the election oversight committee (Panitia Pengawas Pilkada) to investigate reported violations and quickly take action; and
the ability of leading candidates to control their supporters in the Aceh Transition Committee (Komite Peralihan Aceh, KPA), the organisation of former guerrilla commanders.