Polls in Indonesia's Aceh province test peace deal

Published April 9, 2012 6:45AM (EDT)

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Voters are heading to the polls to pick a new governor in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh — testing the strength of a peace deal signed by separatist rebels and the government in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami.

Five candidates, including incumbent Irwandi Yusuf, are up for the job.

Aceh is the only region in the nation of 240 million ruled by Islamic law, sparking debate ahead of Monday's vote about enforcement.

But many voters were like Eka Putra Herlambang, who said as he waited to cast his ballot that what he wants most is "peace and development."

This is the second election since the tsunami that killed 180,000 people in Aceh helped speed an end to the 30-year civil war.

By Salon Staff

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