APSN Banner

Aceh: Governor replaced after students protest

Agence France Presse - June 22, 2000

Banda Aceh – A caretaker governor of the strife-torn Aceh province was installed Wednesday amid student protests against the Indonesian government. The outgoing governor, Mr Syamsuddin Mahmud, was replaced by Mr Ramli Ridwan, a senior official at the Home Affairs Ministry.

Home Affairs Minister Suryadi Sudirdja, who presided over the ceremony in Banda Aceh, the provincial capital, said Mr Ridwan would have to prepare for the election of a governor in six months at the latest.

Mr Mahmud was dismissed by President Abdurrahman Wahid early this month following a motion of no-confidence by the regional legislature. His replacement came amid unrest despite a three-month ceasefire between troops and rebels fighting for independence in the region.

A statement issued by the students said: "Acehnese people no longer need a provincial legislature ... What they need is a referendum." In the capital, several thousand Acehnese people staged a protest with a similar demand at the parliament building.