Indigenous Papuans Could Become a Minority in the Papuan Regional Representative Assembly (DPRP)

Apr 2009
Agus Sumule

In essence, Special Autonomy (Otonomi Khusus, OTSUS) is simple: its introduction to Papua clearly meant siding with, protecting and empowering the rights of the indigenous Papuan people in every aspect of life as well as developing Papua (the provinces of Papua and West Papua), including in political affairs. It is for this reason that a number of articles were included in Law No. 21, 2001 which specifically regulate the political rights of the indigenous Papuan people.

The most pressing question at the moment is how to safeguard the political rights of indigenous Papuans in the 2009 general elections? Will OTSUS take their side, will it protect and empower them? Have the provisions of Law 21 of 2001 on Special Autonomy been implemented in terms of prioritising the recruitment of indigenous Papuans by political parties campaigning for seats in Papua (Article 28, paragraph 3), ensuring that they can occupy 25% of the seats in the Papuan Regional Representative Assembly (DPRP) (Article 6, paragraph 4)?

To ensure that indigenous Papuans are prioritised and comprise the majority of the members of the DPRP, the following criteria must be met:

• A substantial majority of indigenous Papuans must be nominated by all the political parties in Papua for seats in the DPRP.
• Party political mechanisms must be mobilised to support as many Papuan cadres as possible from each of the political parties, and
• The best Papuan cadres in each of the parties must have sufficient financial resources to be able to reach out to, communicate with, and attract as many voters as possible, including both indigenous Papuan as well as immigrant voters.

To find out whether these criteria have been met, I collected data from the List of Permanent Legislative Candidates of the Electoral Commission for the region of Papua (KPUD)...