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The Politics of West Papua: A Historical Perspective

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The West Papua Province is a division of the Papua Province which was realized through Law Number 45 of 1999. Several historical twists and turns have formed the West Papua election.

The Historical Perspective in Politics

West Papua is a province in Indonesia whose territory is locateon the western tip of Papua Island. Previously, West Papua was name West Irian Jaya.

Even though, at first, the formation of West Irian Jaya Province receive a rejection, and the legal basis for its formation no longer had binding legal force, its existence was still valid. 

Then, base on Government Regulation Number 24 of 2007, date April 18, 2007, West Irian was change to West Papua Province. The following are historical perspectives on West Papua politics:

1. Results of the 1969 Act

The establishment of West Papua began with the results of the Round Table Conference (KMB), held on December 27, 1949.

Some of the results of the KMB were that the Netherlands recognized RIS as an independent and sovereign country, with the recognition of sovereignty not later than December 30, 1949.

However, the West Irian issue will still be negotiated again within one year after recognizing RIS sovereignty.

As a result, the RTC still left chaos for both parties because Indonesia and the Netherlands both felt they had rights over the lands of Papua or Irian.

The Netherlands want Papua to stand as its state under the Kingdom of the Netherlands, while Indonesia wanted Papua to be include in its territory.

Finally, to determine the fate of Papua, a Popular Opinion Consultation (Pepera) was hold, and a general election was hold on 14 July-2 August 1969.

2. Choosing to Be Part of Indonesia

The Pepera results show that 1,025 people of West Papua chose to become part of Indonesia.

Then, these results were bring to the UN General Assembly on December 19, 1969. Which approve the results of the Act. 

In 1973, President Soeharto changed the name of West Irian Province to Irian Jaya Province. West Papua has officially become part of Indonesia.

3. Establishment of West Papua Province

On October 4, 1999, based on Law Number 45 of 1999 concerning. The formation of the Province of West Irian Jaya, the division of the Province of Irian Jaya.

This law received support from the SK DPRD Irian Jaya Province Number 10 of 1999 concerning dividing Irian Jaya Province into three provinces. 

However, after being promulgate on October 1, 1999. By President BJ Habibie, the plan to divide the province into three was reject by Jayapura residents.

As a result, the expansion of the province was suspend. In 2002, at the request of the people of West Irian Jaya,

The division was again activate base on Presidential Instruction No. 1 of 2003 by President Megawati Soekarnoputri on January 27, 2003.

4. Have a Clear Government

Since Megawati Soekarnoputri was president, West Irian Jaya Province has slowly formed itself into a definite province. 

After that, West Irian Jaya Province continued to develop its government system until it had a clear area. Population, government apparatus, budget, and DPRD members.

West Irian Jaya Province had a governor and deputy governor for the 2006-2011 period, Abraham Octavianus Susunuri and Drs. Rahimin Katjong was inaugurate on July 24, 2006. 

West Irian Jaya Province has been trying to develop its province legally.

Finally, on April 18, 2007, West Irian Jaya was changed to West Papua Province, based on Government Regulation 24 of 2007.

The explanation above is the history of the establishment of West Papua and its politics.

The history of West Papua Province is, of course, inseparable from the long history of Papua Province, which was known as Irian Jaya during the New Order era.



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