The name “West Papua” is used differently by separatist group and government of Indonesia. It sometimes creates confusion due to its political used.
The name West Papua refers to the western half of the island of New Guinea. The eastern part of the island is Papua New Guinea (PNG). The western half of New Guinea, has had various names such as Netherlands New Guinea, West New Guinea, West Irian, Irian Jaya, and Papua. It became two separate provinces Papua and West Papua since 2007. Separatist group and their supporters call to the entire western half of the island as “West Papua”.
Since the democratization in 1998, especially since 2007, democracy by mean of elections has been introduced to increase political participation in Papua and West Papua. The fact that the leaders of Papua and West Papua provinces are democratically elected by the people has strengthened the legality of West Papua as a province of Indonesia.