12 Nov 2004

Indonesia ends part of provincial division process in Papua

6:06 pm on 12 November 2004

The Indonesian Constitutional Court has overturned a controversial law that would have divided Papua into three new provinces, but ruled that one of the new provinces will remain intact.

It ruled on Thursday that a law splitting the region into three provinces, namely Papua, West Irian Jaya and Central Irian Jaya, was no longer valid because it was unconstitutional.

It decided West Irian Jaya had already been established in line with constitutional requirements, including the election of local representatives, so it should remain a separate province.

But the formation of Central Irian Jaya, whose attempted formation last year sparked riots which claimed five lives, would not go ahead.

Many Papuans believe the province dividing law because it contravened the law on special autonomy.