Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Papuan People's Council (MRP) proposed the expansion of several regions in Papua, including the districts of East Mimika and West Mimika, during their meeting with President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, on Wednesday.

"We hope the president can consider our proposal," Chairman of the Central Papua MRP and MRP Coordinator, Agustinus Anggaibak, stated in a press conference after the meeting.

He noted that the proposal for regional expansion in Papua is based on the local community's need for increased development and the economy.

Responding to this proposal, he said that President Jokowi would consider it and immediately convey the central government's decision.

During the meeting, the MRP also voiced hope that native Papuans would win the November 2024 regional election.

"The central government has given us special autonomy that allows budget disbursal through the district and city, not the province. Therefore, we ask for native Papuans as our regional heads," Anggaibak emphasized.

Regarding the implementation of simultaneous regional elections, he ensured that the Papua region was safe and conducive.

"As a cultural institution, we feel that Papua is safe. There are no problems," he ensured.

Earlier, Vice President Ma'ruf Amin echoed the central government's commitment to expediting development in the new autonomous region (DOB) of Papua in the remaining four months of the Jokowi-Amin administration.

He then outlined six foundations built by the current government to boost the development of the Papua Special Autonomy, including streamlining the system and improving the legal basis for Papua's special autonomy.

The vice president also remarked that expanding the region into four provinces in Papua was one of the next strategic steps.

"We hope that by expanding the four provinces, the service will be more direct because one province is too far away," he revealed.

Through several strategic steps that have been developed, the government is optimistic about accelerating development in Papua in the remaining time while preparing a solid foundation for the next government.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa P, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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