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Former rebel declared winner of Aceh governor vote

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) – A former rebel who once lived in exile has won this month’s governor’s election in Indonesia’s westernmost province of Aceh

The Independent Election Commission announced Tuesday that Zaini Abdullah will be the new governor of the predominantly Muslim province of more than 4 million people. It says he won 55.75 percent of the vote.

He outpaced incumbent Irwandi Yusuf, also a former separatist elected in 2006 as Aceh’s first governor.

Abdullah and his running mate Muzakir Manaf, the last commander of the Free Aceh Movement or GAM, are scheduled to be sworn in next month.

The government reached a peace deal with separatists after the 2004 tsunami that made Aceh the only region in the nation of 240 million ruled by Islamic law.

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