Minister of Home Affairs Muhammad Tito Karnavian inaugurated the three new provinces of South Papua, Papua Highlands, and Central Papua on Friday (11/11), joining the two established provinces of Papua and West Papua, and increasing the number of provinces on the island to five.
The inauguration ceremony took place at the Home Ministry in Central Jakarta, and was marked by the beats of Tifa drums beaten by Karnavian and his deputy, John Wempi Wetipo, along with two government officials.
“This Friday, November 11, 2022, on behalf of the Indonesian president, I, as the home minister, inaugurate South Papua Province based on Law No.14 of 2022, Central Papua Province based on Law No.15 of 2022, and Papua Highlands Province based on Law No.16 of 2022,” Karnavian remarked.
Following the ‘ (DPR’s) enactment of the three laws on June 30, 2022, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) validated those three new autonomous provinces on July 25, 2022. Based on the laws, the President must appoint acting governors within six months after the enactment of the laws, who will be in office until regional elections are held to elect the definitive pairs of governor and deputy governor.
The three acting governors are Apolo Safanpo (South Papua), Nikolaus Kondomo (Papua Highlands), and Ribka Haluk (Central Papua). Apolo is the Rector of Cendarawasih University, Nikolaus is the Head of the Papua High Court, and Ribka is Head of the Papuan Social, Population, and Civil Registry Office.
The acting governors will immediately commence their administrative duties after the inauguration. They are also mandated by the laws to facilitate the formation of the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) and Papua People’s Representatives’ Council (DPRP), and organizing regional elections for electing the definitive pairs of governor and deputy governor as well as to manage their respective provinces’ budgets.
The Minister stated that the three new provinces in Papua will further positively impact the lives of people as shown by the earlier experience of regional division to create West Papua Province. The province has rapidly developed in terms of bureaucracy, issuance of permits, public services, and the handling of other administrative matters, he added.