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Former rebel wins Aceh elections
Irwandi Yusuf confirmed governor with 38 per cent of votes in province's first polls.
Last Modified: 29 Dec 2006 10:58 GMT
Yusuf has pledged to improve conditions for Aceh's poor, especially farmers and fishermen [EPA] 

A former Aceh separatist has won elections in the conflict- and disaster-stricken northern Indonesian province.
 
The electoral commission on Friday confirmed quick-count tallies made this month. Irwandi Yusuf won 38 per cent of the vote.
 
His closest rival, Ahmad Humam Hamid, took 16 per cent.
Irwandi, a leader of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), will assume the office of governor in February for a five-year term.
 
The elections on December 11, which also determined mayors and district chiefs, came just over a year after GAM and the Indonesian government signed a peace agreement.

The deal, precipitated by the Indian ocean tsunami in 2004 that claimed about 167,000 lives in Aceh, ended 29 years of fighting in which 15,000 people were killed.

Treason

Besides negotiating with Jakarta for GAM, Irwandi also worked in counter-intelligence and the military wing. He was in jail for treason when the tsunami hit.

Analysts have said his administration will need to deliver on jobs and housing for thousands still homeless two years after the tsunami.
 
Others say that bringing justice and development to the impoverished province will require newly elected GAM officials to rise above an entrenched political culture of corruption, patronage and inefficiency.

Irwandi told Al Jazeera before the final results were revealed: "By 2010 we [would] have eradicated corruption and you won't hear any more of it in Aceh. By year 2015, Aceh can be considered a prosperous piece of land, prosperous country, where justice and law is for everyone."
 
He has pledged to focus on improving the economic wellbeing of Aceh's poor, especially farmers and fishermen.

This, he has said, depends on giving Aceh direct access to international commodity markets instead of going through domestic middlemen, and on improving infrastructure.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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