PPP's Romahurmuziy to Start Reconciliation Forum

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

FEBRUARY 19, 2016

Jakarta. A faction of the United Development Party, or PPP, led by a pro-government Romahurmuziy initiated a reconciliation forum with Djan Faridz's opposing camp on Thursday (18/02), aiming to hold an official congress in April 2017.

The meeting took place at the home of Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, also a PPP politician, at around 7 p.m.

Romahurmuziy said the reconciliation congress will be held next April, calling it an urgent matter as the party will begin preparations for next year's simultaneous regional elections at least in July.

A national meeting will also be held as a reconciliation forum as soon as possible.

“The national meeting will be the beginning of the party's reconciliation,”  Romahurmuziy told reporters as quoted by Detik.com.

The move came following the recent decision of Justice Minister Yasona Laoly, who issued a recognition letter of PPP's structure from a party congress in Bandung in 2011, during which jailed former religious minister Suryadharma Ali was elected as chairman and Romahurmuziy was chosen as a secretary general.

However, internal law forbids a convict from acting as head of the Islamic-based party, which means Romahurmuziy will take over the chairmanship by default.

Emron Pangkapi, PPP deputy chairman from the Bandung congress, claimed he has gained support from Suryadharma to stage a reconciliation forum for the sake of the party's interests.

“Indah [the wife of Suryadharma] was also head of the party's leadership board in the Bandung congress. She accompanied me to meet Suryadharma and that's why I believe this reconciliation process will run faster than everybody expected,” Emron explained.

The party has been divided by an internal rift since 2014, following naming of Suryadharma as a graft suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Romahurmuziy staged a party assembly in October 2014 in Surabaya to remove the then-incumbent chairman.

Suryadharma and his supporters, however, contended that Romahurmuziy's congress had not been a legitimate forum for electing a leader, and a month later staged their own shadow congress in Jakarta, where Djan was declared chairman. The two factions  have since stood on opposing sides on several issues, including political support for President Joko Widodo's government in the House of Representatives.

Romahurmuziy's faction declared themselves as loyal government supporters, while Djan's faction has continued to precariously walk the fine line between support and opposition, declaring itself part of the opposing Red-White Coalition but consistently backing Joko's policies.

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