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Aceh vote likely split in Indonesian election

Kurniawati Nia, right, says she will cast her vote based on Indonesian-wide, rather than Aceh-specific, issues. (Photo by Simon Roughneen)

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia -- Almost a decade after a devastating earthquake and tsunami killed 170,000 people in Aceh, voters in Indonesia's northwestern-most province are gearing up to have their say in today's presidential election.

   The December 2004 tsunami devastated large parts of the province and flattened much of regional capital Banda Aceh. But it also paved the way for a long-sought peace agreement between Acehnese separatists and the Indonesian government, signed in 2005. The deal gave the region "special territory" status, giving it greater autonomy than other provinces of the vast Indonesian archipelago.

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