A power struggle within the Indonesian Islamic-based National Mandate Party (PAN) led to a violent brawl at its national congress today, which reportedly injured some 30 people.
PAN is amid a national congress in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi with the main agenda being the formal nominations of the opposition party’s next leader. Tensions arose during the first day of the congress yesterday when rival factions within the party quarreled over alleged administrative issues that could prevent nominees from running.
Today, those tensions escalated to violence as PAN members, believed to be supporters of incumbent Chairman Zulkifli Hasan and his strongest challenger Deputy Chairman Mulfachri Harahap, clashed at the congress. Video footage from the incident showed that the two factions threw chairs, among other things, at each other amid chaotic scenes.
Hot heads were eventually cooled as police were called in and Zulkifli called for calm. However, 30 PAN cadres were reportedly injured, some of them hit by the flying chairs. It appears that none of the injuries were severe in nature.
In addition, a window at the hotel that’s hosting the congress was also reportedly smashed.
The congress is scheduled to run until tomorrow.