Indonesian Election Possible Loses West Papua's Voters
The declaration for abstentions in the 2019 election by the Front Rakyat Indonesia for West Papua and Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua (AMP) in Jakarta. Photo by TheInsiderStories.com

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian presidential and legislative elections will not be followed by the people of West Papua said the protester today (02/12). The declaration for abstentions in the 2019 election was delivered by the Front Rakyat Indonesia for West Papua and Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua (AMP) in Jakarta.

Based on data from the West Papua Election Commission, the provisional; voter list for the 2019 elections was 736,318 voters, spread across 218 sub-districts and 1836 villages.

The demonstrator loud four statements like not following the presidential election and legislative elections 2019, demanding the right of self-determination for the people of West Papua, urging the Indonesian government to withdraw organic and non-organic military from the province, opening access to information also national and international journalists for West Papua.

This group stated that they had received the approval of all West Papuans to separate themselves from Indonesia. That can be proven by a petition containing 1.8 million West Papuan signatures sent to the Director of the United Nations Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet last month.

The petition contained demands for independence and a request to the United Nations to send a fact-finding mission related to alleged human rights violations by Indonesia.

West Papua, according to them, had been constitutionally independent since 1 December 1961. But that year the West Papuans were still a struggle for Indonesia and the Netherlands.

Post-Indonesia led by President Soeharto, in 1967 United Statas’ Freeport McMoran could legally conduct mining in West Papua, without involving indigenous people. Even though it was two years before the People’ Opinion Determination.

“This is a cunning and manipulative way that Indonesia controls West Papua. That’ because of the 809,337 people, only 1,025 people were represented who had been quarantined. Until finally only 175 people gave opinions. Because of that, since the inception of West Papua into Indonesia it did not have strong legitimacy, “said Surya Anta, the leader of the group.

Similar practices, according to him, still persist to this day. History shows, Indonesia always fails to answer various problems that occur in West Papua.

Starting from the violation of the New York Agreement August 15, 1962, in which Indonesia was required to hold a people’ opinion determination on a one person one vote, genocide slowly afterwards during the 50’s, massive forest destruction, malnutrition, massive exploitation of mining materials (gold, copper, uranium, oil, gas) which has an impact on increasing the number of tons of tailings that damage the nature of West Papua, social inequality between residents of origin and migrants, extra judicial killing against civilians including activists, racist treatment of the people to the restraint of freedom of assembly and opinion.

This group also considered this year’ election contestation not different from the previous. Every party and its legislative candidates, presidential and vice-presidential candidates only win the votes of the people of West Papua. But they will not listen to the most basic voices of the people of Papua, “the right to self-determination.”

The state is also always absent from questions about violations of human rights in Papua, reducing military mobilization and guaranteeing freedom of assembly and opinion for all civil groups.

The commitment of the two candidates about Papua, for example, was not seen in the first presidential debate. The legal theme which was debated never discussed the cases of human rights violations in Papua.

Prabowo Subianto has a bad track record about human rights violations in Mapenduma Papua. While, Jokowi Widodo as incumbent has also allowed human rights to occur repeatedly.

The case of the incomplete Bloody Paniai, the Deiyai and Dogiyai cases which were also not completed, as well as the mass arrests of West Papuan activists which have recently been rife.

Widodo who has power should be used to resolve cases of human rights violations and not allow violations to continue. The omission means affirming and becoming part of the act of human rights violations.

Anta also highlighted military operations in Nduga and other places in Papua which claimed many civilian casualties. Dozens of people including children died, detention and burning of houses. Twenty thousand thousand people were forced to flee the area.

As a result, education, economic activities and religion do not run normally. Access to civil administration, people’s representatives, journalists, humanitarian workers, is very difficult. The presence of the army and police officers there actually causes people to be traumatized.

Therefore, Anta considers the 2019 Election is not important for the people of West Papua for a number of reasons. Firstly, Indonesia’s existence in the West Papua region is illegal, secondly there is no national political party that voices the problem of West Papua, the last elections are only to perpetuate the practices of colonialism.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com