Ethnic politics and local political parties in Indonesia

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    Since Indonesia's return to multiparty democracy in 1999, national law makers have introduced regulations that effectively ban ethnic or regionally based political parties. A major exception to the rule can be found in the province of Aceh where ethnic separatists were granted the right to form their own political party to contest local elections in return for giving up their armed struggle for independence. In legislative elections held in 2009 the party of the former rebels - the Aceh Party - won a landslide victory. Drawing on in-depth interviews with national party leaders and parliamentarians, this article examines the implications of the rise of the Aceh Party for Indonesia's political party system and the potential for ethnic-based parties to resolve ethnic conflict and secessionism in other parts of Indonesia, including in Papua where the failure of special autonomy arrangements has led to increased militancy among indigenous Papuans.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)419-440
    JournalAsian Ethnicity
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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