The Golkar Party splintered into two camps last December, between Abrurizal Bakrie, elected as leader at the Bali congress, and Agung Laksono who emerged as leader at the Jakartas Ancol congress.
Aburizal Bakrie has earlier filed a lawsuit with the West Jakarta District Court to challenge the leadership of Laksono, yet the court rejected it as the Golkar Tribunal was expected to resolve the squabble.
However, the tribunal failed to take a final decision, leaving the case to be dealt with at the Attorney Generals Office (AGO). After all, the Bakrie camp has also filed a cessation with the AGO.
Following the tribunals failure to decide the legitimate of one of the the Golkar leaderships, Bakries camp was soon to file a lawsuit again with the West Jakarta District Court.
Amid the protracted conflict, Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasona H Laoly came up with a decision to recognize Golkar under the leadership of Agung Laksono, after considering Golkars tribunal who saw split opinions among their four judges.
The Golkar faction chairman in the House, Ade Komarudin, stated that his faction regretted the ministers step to recognize one of the two feuding leaderships even though the court had yet to issue a ruling.
He said that President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is expected to help overcome the conflict.
"We ask the President to take a wise step to help resolve the partys conflict through legal channels, not through using state power," Ade Komaruddin, Deputy Chairman of Golkar said on Friday.
He said that the step taken by Justice and Human Rights Minister Laoly to recognize Golkar under the leadership of Agung Laksono was wrong because the conflict between the two camps was still going on.
The minister, according to Komaruddin should have waited for the courts final verdict before recognizing one of them. "Golkar called on the minister to correct his step. We also ask for the Presidents assistance to resolve the dual leadership of Golkar," Ade Komaruddin of the Golkar under Aburizal Bakrie said.
He said that the Golkar faction in the House of Representatives (DPR) will respect whatever decision is decided in the court. "If the court has issued a final verdict, and win the Golkar leadership under Agung Laksono, the Golkar faction leaders in the House will resign without the need for being forced," he said.
Agung Laksono has earlier said he would replace the leader of the Golkar faction in the House.
Earlier, Senior Golkar leader Akbar Tanjung had said that to avoid a long legal process, Golkar Party had better organize a reconciliatory congress as the best solution to bring together the conflicting camps of Aburizal Bakrie and Agung Laksono.
Yet, Laksono is of the view that holding a reconciliatory congress to reach rapprochement, as suggested by chief patron of the Golkar Party Akbar Tanjung, would be difficult.
"I will abide by the decision of the Golkar Tribunal and the decision of the justice and human rights minister," Laksono said.
He added that reconciliation could be expected when Golkar holds a congress by October 2016 at the latest. "I only have a two-year term of office, not a five-year term, on condition that a congress is organized by October 2016 at the latest. Reconciliation can be expected at that congress," Laksono remarked.
To resolve the internal conflict in the Golkar leadership, he pointed out that the party tribunals decision, which is final and binding and based on point 5 of article 32 of law number 2/2011 on political parties, should be respected.
In the meantime, the Red-White Coalition (KMP), an alliance of political parties, including Golkar, which takes an opposition stand against the government of Jokwoi, is reportedly attempting to gather support for filing an inquiry move with the House against the justice ministers decision.
"We have prepared a draft proposal seeking an inquiry and we will present it to legislators during the next sitting session of the House starting March 23," Bambang Soesatyo, secretary of the Golkar Party faction (FPG) in the House, said at the Parliament building here on Friday.
Bambang made the remarks in response to a letter written by Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly. The letter stated the ministers recognition of the Golkar led by Agung Laksono.
He noted that before gathering support from legislators, the KMP will first send a warning letter to the minister and will wait for the ministers response.
Deputy Chairman of the United Development Party (PPP) faction in the House Dimyati Natakusumah remarked that the KMP has given the minister time till March 23, when the sitting session of the House begins, to change his decision. He will hopefully act before the deadline, he added.
"If the minister fails to take a corrective measure, the PPP will support the KMP and mobilize support for an inquiry," he pointed out.
The PPP also split into two groups, one led by Rohmahurmuziy who was elected at the PPP congress in Surabaya, East Java, and the other one led by Djan Faridz, elected in the PPP congress in Jakarta.
The Minister of Justice and Human Rights has recognized the Golkar Party led by Agung Laksono and the PPP under Romahurmuziey.
According to an observer, Minister Yasona Laolys decision to recognize Agung Laksonos leadership was strategic for President Joko Widodos government.
"Since the beginning, I have forecast that Bakries camp will lose. Laksonos camp must have something at play. Thus, the ministers decision will benefit Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla, constitutional observer Ismael Ramadhan of the Ambon Institute of Islamic Studies (IAIN) stated last Tuesday.
Ramadhan said a similar pattern had been observed some time ago in the case of the United Development Party (PPP) factional conflict. The justice minister finally recognized the PPP leadership under Romahurmuziy.
"I have no intention to make a slander or to discredit anyone behind the conflicts within the Golkar Party and PPP. But, those who understand politics must know the players behind the political dynamism who aim to weaken the Red-White-Coalition (KMP which groups opposition parties)," Ramadhan emphasized.(T.A014/O001)