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 Golkar members clash, several injured

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BerichtOnderwerp: Golkar members clash, several injured    di 25 nov 2014 - 20:08

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Tuesday November 25 2014

everal Golkar Party members were injured in a clash between two rival groups within the party at the party’s headquarters in West Jakarta on Tuesday.

The violence occurred when members of Golkar’s central executive board were about to commence a plenary meeting to discuss the party’s upcoming chairmanship election, a topic that has escalated tensions in the party in recent weeks.

The topic was discussed during a plenary meeting on Monday, but it was adjourned by chairman Aburizal Bakrie after dozens of Golkar Youth Generation (AMPG) members poured into the meeting room in protest against the plan to hold a party national congress on Nov. 30.

To anticipate a similar disruption, dozens of men guarded the plenary meeting room on Tuesday afternoon. The men wore AMPG uniforms but AMPG chairman Yorrys Raweyai said they were “fake” and had been created by Aburizal.

Yorrys arrived at the headquarters with more than 50 of his AMPG members to forcefully disperse the “fake” group. Some were attacked with sticks and helmets taken from nearby parked motorcycles.

Aburizal was not seen at the headquarters. He was said to planning to hold a press conference on the attack later on Tuesday.

The discord within Golkar centers on moves by Aburizal’s camp to secure support for the incumbent chairman. Opponents consider the moves “undemocratic” and “illegal.”

Aburizal’s rivals have accused him of threatening and intimidating local and regional chapters into supporting his bid for a second term.

The congress was originally planned to be held in 2015 but Aburizal’s camp unilaterally decided to expedite it to Nov. 30, a move his opponents believed was a bid to prevent local and regional chapters from shifting support.

Golkar’s upcoming chairman election is considered crucial, as it could alter the country’s political landscape.

As of Tuesday, seven Golkar politicians — deputy chairman Agung Laksono; lawmakers Airlangga Hartarto, Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita and Zainudin Amali; party executive Hajriyanto Thohari; former industry minister MS Hidayat and former lawmaker Priyo Budi Santoso — had declared that they will challenge Aburizal in the upcoming national congress.

Six of them, excluding Hidayat, plan to join forces and unite behind a single challenger

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