Rival Golkar Camps Vow to Support Jokowi Administration Together

From right to left: Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie, Minister Luhut Panjaitan and rival Golkar chairman Agung Laksono. (Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

By : Yustinus Paat & Markus Junianto Sihaloho | on 11:00 PM November 01, 2015
Category : News, Politics, Featured

Jakarta. The feuding camps of the split Golkar Party have agreed to support the government of President Joko Widodo, Agung Laksono said on Sunday night after a conciliation meeting with his rival, Aburizal Bakrie.

"We, Pak Ical and I, have agreed to sincerely support the Jokowi administration," said Agung, refering to Aburizal by his nickname.

He added that the party would speak out, however, when the people's interests were at stake.

The two camps met at the Golkar office in Slipi, West Jakarta. Hundreds of Golkar officials, as well as Vice President Jusuf Kalla -- himself a former Golkar chairman -- and Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Panjaitan, attended the meeting.

Kalla said at that the two camps had basically solved their dispute, and that they just had to work out the technical details of a formal reunification.

M. Misbakhun, a Golkar lawmaker, said on Sunday that he was confident the recent Supreme Court decision to recognize Aburizal as the party's legitimate chairman would bring the party back together.

Aburizal was re-elected as chairman at a party congress held in Bali in early December 2014. Days later, disgruntled party members held a rival congress in Ancol, North Jakarta, where they named Agung the chairman. The two camps have since taken their respective claims to various courts, winning a mix of judgments before the matter landed before the Supreme Court.

"If Golkar reunites, then God willing, the country will be safe," said Misbakhun, who has been supporting Aburizal's camp.

Supreme Court’s ruling could still be subject to a judicial review if either of the parties is unsatisfied. A judicial review constitutes the very final stage of appeal.

The split within the party, Indonesia's oldest, stems from discontent over Aburizal's failure to get anyone from the party into last year’s presidential race, despite Golkar getting the second-highest number of votes in the legislative election.

The 2014 vote was the first in the country’s history in which none of the presidential or vice presidential candidates was from Golkar.

Correction: This article previously erroneously identified rival Golkar chairman Agung Laksono as Pramono Anung, who is not a Golkar politician.  

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