Agung Laksono Golkar calls for reelection of parliament speaker

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Golkar Party under Agung Laksono said it is lobbying other political parties to re-elect a new Parliament speaker to replace Setya Novanto.

Setya Novanto has stepped down in disgrace as House Speaker after the House Ethics Tribunal voted him guilty of ethical code violation.

"We have assigned our sympathizers at Parliament to lobby other parties to call for election of the house speaker.

"We are the legal leaders of Golkar as officially recognized by the Ministry of Law and Human Right," Deputy general chairman of Agung Laksonos Golkar Priyo Budi Santoso said.

Golkar has split into two factions- one under Agung Laksono and another under Aburizal Bakrie .

The government decided to give its recognition to Agung Laksonos Golkar, but the court annulled the decision in favor of Aburizal Bakries Golkar.

Attempts including by Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who is former leader of the party failed to reconcile the two factions.

Priyo said his faction already has candidate for Parliament speaker and faction leader, but "we also agree if the new speaker should be elected by the body.

Agus Laksono said he would support candidate from the ruling party PDIP to be the new speaker as the party winning the largest number of seats in the Parliament.

Setya Novanto stepped down as the parliament speaker after all members of the House ethics tribunal (MDK) declared him guilty . He tendered his resignation when the MDK was about to pound the gavel.

Aburizal Bakrie, however, named him Golkar faction leader at the Parliament in contrary to his serious guilt of gross violation of ethical code slapped by all Golkars representatives at the MDK.

The decision drew strong reaction. Agung Laksono said the naming of Novanto as faction leader hurt the public feelings.

Novanto was charged with ethical code violation for holding secret meetings with PT Freeport Indonesia and allegedly asking for a share in the U.S. mining company in exchange of support for the companys proposal for contract extension.

A transcript of conversation between Novanto, a business friend and Freeport President Director Maroef Sjamsudin, said Novanto used the name of President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla to convince Freeport that he could guarantee approval for the contract extension.

PT Freeport Indonesia, which has large copper and gold mines in Papua is seeking extension of its contract which will expire in 2021.

Earlier Aburizal Bakries Golkar already named Golkar faction leader at the Parliament Ade Komaruddin to replace Novanto.

Agung Laksonos faction protested the decision as it was made unilaterally.(*)