The opening ceremony was addressed and attended by representative from the Regency office (Kabupaten), the Commission of the Local Parliament (DPRD) in charge of Governance as well as by the Lhoong District Head (Kecamatan). The training was conducted in the District Office of Lhoong. Most of the participants have very limited election experience and education (majority ranged from Elementary & Senior High School graduates) yet their eagerness and enthusiasm in absorbing topics given were very much appreciated.
AIPRD Village Facilitators for each village of these 5 villages, who were participating, were to follow up and hopes to assist in understanding materials distributed due to participants language barrier (a number of participants were more comfortable using Acehnese language rather than Bahasa Indonesia) and their unfamiliarity with some election terminology.
This training was carried out upon request from the village of Kareung, Lhoong Sub-district, as the present Geuchik (Village Chief) office term will soon come to an end. During the tsunami, this village had lost their Village Chief and has elected a new one through consensus. During the meeting facilitated by AIPRD/Logica-AusAID and USAID-LGSP on May 20, 2006 in Kareung village with the Kareung elders and village administration members, they wish to conduct a proper election and if possible at an international standard base even though the winner of PilChikSung could be the same person/present Geuchik/Village Chief. Credit was given to the Lhoong District Head for his quick response and support of both prior and during the training. He was indeed a resourceful person during the training and certainly an advantage as he is also the decision maker of the Village Election. During the conflict with Freedom Aceh Movement, most village chiefs were either appointed by the government and eventually abandoned the post or avoided to be elected due to personal and familys very concerning security issues. This election is expected to be the first Village Election properly and professionally run in Aceh and possibly in Indonesia. Any outcome is hoped to be used as a submission included in the Qanun (similar level to a Local Government Regulation). Should this all be realized, the process from scratch to a credible election will be duplicated and applied throughout the possible 200 villages that would be under AIPRD working area.
Participants were from Kareung, Utamong, Meunasah Krueng Kala, Tunong Krueng Kala, Pudeng a total of 26 senior village administrators, 2 District Heads, 2 Mukim, one of the Commison-A Local Parliamentary members, and 5 Village Facilitators.
Before BRIDGE Phase 2 is held on June 17, 2006, we hope the participants have defined and done their draft EMB Structure to be shared in class. With the District Head’s assistance in giving inputs on the organizational structures we hope each village will have their finalized structure & in-house communication line. We also hope the will be able to understand their functions and responsibilites as Panitia Penyelenggara Pemilihan or the Election Committee for PilChikSung.
Special Thanks: Joko, Friska, Badlisyah and Irja, Andre and his camera team of AIPRD/Logica-AusAID in preparing all facilities to meet the BRIDGE Course training standard. Thank you to all AIPRD/Logica-AusAID team for the excellent work!
Thank you to LPPM and Hendro of USAID-LGSP Civil Society Specialist and Forum LSM for their support.
Facilitators: Dhyana Paramita, (BRIDGE Facilitator) USAID-LGSP
Muhamad Najib, Governance Advisor (Legal Framework – local substance) AIPRD/Logica-AusAID