Theft of Rights and the True Demands of Autonomy: Implications of Elections in Papua from 2009 to 2024


By: Papua Today News

The Special Autonomy Law for Papua, officially known as Law Number 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for the Province of Papua, has increasingly become the focus of intense debate within Papua's community. Despite promising significant advancements for the development of the Papua region on paper, the reality has disappointed many, including Papua's indigenous communities.

One of the crucial points of this law is the granting of additional authority to Papua in various fields, including governance, economy, social, and cultural affairs. However, recent data regarding the representation of indigenous Papuan communities (OAP) in general elections reveals a painful reality.

During the 2019 elections, several districts and cities in Papua showed glaring disparities between the composition of elected legislative members and the indigenous Papuan population. For instance, in Sarmi Regency, out of a total of 20 seats, only 7 were filled by OAP, while in Mimika Regency, out of 35 seats, only 17 were occupied by OAP. This data reflects a significant imbalance in OAP's political representation within legislative bodies.

The situation becomes even more concerning when looking at recent data from the 2024-2029 elections, where minimal progress has been made. For example, Merauke Regency only had 2 OAP candidates elected, while Sorong and Sarmi Regencies only had 3 OAP candidates each. This highlights not only the failure of the political system to provide balanced representation for OAP but also raises serious questions about the central government's commitment to implementing the principles of special autonomy.

Mr. Dom, a prominent figure in Papua's community, condemns this situation as the "theft of rights" from OAP. According to him, promises of special autonomy are merely in name, with the actual substance not reflecting the interests and needs of indigenous Papuan communities. Furthermore, this situation includes the domination of civil servants (ASN) from outside Papua, which he believes has strengthened throughout the geographical range from Sorong to Merauke.

In this context, the demand for a serious revision of the Special Autonomy Law for Papua becomes increasingly urgent. Papua's community demands that the central government genuinely respects their human rights, including the right to fair and proportional political representation in accordance with the composition of Papua's indigenous population. Without concrete steps to address this injustice, the dream of true autonomy for Papua remains a troubling illusion.

(Reported by Malik for Papua Today News)

source https://www.olemah.com/2024/01/theft-of-rights-and-true-demands-of.html

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