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In Indonesia’s Aceh, Islamic Sharia Law Is Applied Harshly And Hypocritically

More so than elsewhere in Indonesia, the world's largest Islamic nation, the province of Aceh adheres to the strict precepts of Sharia law. If caught by the religious police, residents face public flogging and prison. Still, the rich have ways ar

Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Anne-Fleur Delaistre

ACEH -- The sunset along the coast makes this a particularly romantic spot for dozens of couples sitting intertwined on the rocks along the beach. But these young people are here illegally.

In Aceh, an Indonesia province on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra, their behavior is vigorously punished by Islamic law. For their crime, called khalwat, an unmarried man and woman risk nine lashes with a stick. If the religious police surprise one of these couples in flagrante, officers will demand the offenders get married on the spot.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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