Indonesia’s Aceh Province Votes for Governor

Posted April 9th, 2012 at 4:45 am (UTC-5)
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Residents are voting Monday in the Indonesian province of Aceh to elect a governor of the only province in the country ruled by Islamic sharia law.

It is only the second election in Aceh since a December 2004 tsunami which killed 170,000 people in the province and led separatist rebels to lay down their arms in order to rebuild their lives. The three-decade rebellion against Indonesia ended in 2005, after having claimed 15,000 lives.

The main candidates are both former rebels — Irwandi Yusuf, who is seeking a second five-year term, and Zaini Abdullah, former foreign minister of the rebel Free Aceh Movement.

Authorities say several murders and dozens of cases of intimidation were reported in the run-up to the poll, but Aceh Police Chief Iskandar Hasan said Monday that election day has been generally peaceful.

“Thus far, I have not received any report on security issues. There were one or two cases of intimidation but they were not big issues.''

Election results are expected by April 15, and candidates must get more than 30 percent of the vote for an outright win.