Opposition to launch inquiry on favouritism

Opposition to launch inquiry on favouritism
Yasonna H. Laoly

JAKARTA - Lawmakers from the Red-and-White Coalition aim to exercise their rights to inquiry to begin an investigate Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna H. Laoly over "abuse of power" by favouring the pro-government factions within certain political parties during recent internal bickering.

Executives representing members of the opposition coalition announced that the plan would be launched as soon as the House of Representatives resume its duties on March 23, a month after its recess.

The move would be taken in protest against Yasonna's "arbitrary intervention" into internal fights within the United Development Party (PPP) and the Golkar Party.

Golkar's Bambang Soesatyo and Ade Komaruddin (who both are on the side of Aburizal Bakrie), along with the Gerindra Party's Fary Djemy Francis, Prosperous Justice Party's (PKS) Jazuli Juwaini and United Development Party's (PPP) Achmad Dimyati Natakusumah, announced the planned inquiry over the weekend.

They accused the minister of making his "partial" decisions regarding Golkar and the PPP without President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's consent.

"Jokowi knows nothing about it," Bambang said. "We [in the opposition coalition] jointly declare that we will fight back against Yasonna, a robber of democracy".

However, no representatives from the National Mandate Party (PAN) - which is still a formal member of the opposition coalition - attended the announcement.

Yasonna, a politician from the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), has received harsh criticism from politicians in the losing factions within Golkar after he recognised the leadership of Agung Laksono, instead of Aburizal, basing his decision on the ruling of Golkar's internal dispute committee.

The committee has favoured Agung over Aburizal after two of the four panel members recognised the former's chairmanship - which was declared during a national congress in Ancol last October - while the other two refused to make any recommendation.

The reaction against Laoly's decision concerning Golkar's leadership is seen as the tip of the iceberg after he previously declared that Muhammad "Romy" Romahurmuziy was the legitimate leader of the PPP prior to a court ruling.

The State Administrative Court later annulled his decision and returned the PPP's leadership to rival Djan Faridz, who was nominated by former chairman Suryadharma Ali, during whose ruling period the internal rift evolved.

While the two competing factions within the PPP have expressed intentions to peacefully end the rift, tensions within Golkar are escalating as the winning camp is planning to make a major change in the leadership structure of the party's faction at the House.

The majority of the Golkar seats in the House are controlled by Aburizal's supporters, so this planned restructuring could have a significant impact on the House.

The move to investigate Laoly has gained support from a few PDI-P politicians, including Effendi Simbolon, who has been very critical toward many of Jokowi's policies. "It [the inquiry] will hopefully make him [Yasonna] more mature," he said.

President Jokowi declined to comment on the worsening fight within Golkar, but called on both quarrelling groups to make peace with each other.

"I ask both groups to end the conflict and unite," Jokowi said.

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