Jakarta. The leaders of the two feuding factions of the Golkar Party are expected to sign a truce on Saturday, albeit a temporary one, in the latest bid to keep Indonesia’s oldest political party in the running for local elections later this year.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla, a former Golkar chairman, said on Monday that Aburizal Bakrie and Agung Laksono, the heads of the rival camps, would sign the agreement at his house this weekend.
Both lay claim to the Golkar chair, with Aburizal’s camp re-electing him to the post at a congress in Bali last December, and Agung’s faction holding a rival congress just days later in Ancol, North Jakarta.
Kalla declined to reveal the terms of the truce, telling reporters to wait.
Officials from both factions previously said that Aburizal and Agung had agreed to form a joint team to screen candidates that Golkar will nominate for gubernatorial, district and mayoral elections to take place in December.
The candidates must register their bids, including the parties backing them, from July 26-28, and the General Elections Commission (KPU) insists it will not accept nomimations from parties without a clearly recognized leadership structure.
It is still not clear whether Aburizal or Agung will sign off on the nominations, which require the chairman’s approval.
Both sides have said the dispute will be resolved through legal avenues. Four courts have so far weighed in on the issue, each producing conflicting rulings.
A fifth trial is currently ongoing and an appeal has been lodged against the most recent ruling, made by the Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) earlier this month, which revoked a Justice Ministry decree recognizing Agung as Golkar’s legitimate chairman.
Lamhot Sinaga, a deputy secretary general in Agung’s camp, said only the latter was eligible to sign off on the nominations, arguing that the PTUN ruling was neither final nor binding.
Aburizal’s camp disputes this, saying both sides have only agreed on how the joint team will screen the candidates.
Also unclear is whether the truce will last after the regional elections.