29 Oct 2005

Indonesia set to appoint new assembly for province of Papua

7:17 am on 29 October 2005

Indonesia is set to appoint a powerful new regional government for the province of Papua later today.

More than a hundred people took to the streets of the Papuan capital Jayapura yesterday to protest against the government's decision to appoint all 42 members of the Papuan People's Assembly today.

Protesters say the move is against the law and will create a puppet administration.

The Special Autonomy Law for the province states the Papuan people must directly elect two-thirds of the assembly.

The other representatives are supposed to

be selected by religious leaders in the large


A spokesman for the protestors, Selpius Bobii, said that by allowing local regional leaders to select the assembly, the government was ignoring the autonomy law and creating a rubber-stamp body.

Under the law, the assembly is supposed to ensure Papuan people have a greater say in running the province.

It can create local laws and veto political

candidates for other regional and provincial bodies.