One of President Suharto's senior cabinet ministers warned yesterday that civil war could result from the instability surrounding his pledge to stand down. Environment Minister Juwono Sudarsono warned of divisions among the military and a lack of laws governing democratic elections. 'Given the current situation, I cannot be optimistic,' Mr Juwono said when asked about the chances of a smooth transition following Mr Suharto's 32-year rule. 'If there is more violence and shooting, all the assumptions need to be changed.' Asked about the leadership's fears of bloodshed and even civil war, he said: 'Those remain two very strong possibilities . . . that's precisely why he wants a managed transition.' He insisted Mr Suharto was ready to resign, saying he realised he had lost his legitimacy, but said a 'dignified departure' had to be created for stability's sake. Mr Juwono believed elections could be arranged within six to eight months, but said new laws would have to be created and a new democratic system decided on. Mr Suharto was committed to attracting opposition figures to the new cabinet and committee he announced on Tuesday. But the minister warned some critics might not want to damage their reputations by joining. Mr Juwono, considered to have the best army connections of any civilian minister, believed military chief General Wiranto would be the most influential figure in the months ahead - and also the most likely candidate for president. When asked about rifts between General Wiranto and his strategic force commander, Lieutenant-General Prabowo Subianto - Mr Suharto's son-in-law - Mr Juwono admitted there was 'factionalism and juggling for position'. 'I think General Wiranto probably has the edge because he is not a member of [Suharto's] family . . . but he is in the inner circle,' he said. 'I think he doesn't want to be seen as someone who wants to grab ultimate power. I think he sees him as a symbol of someone who has a achieved a degree of accomplishment.' He admitted 'strong parallels' existed between General Wiranto's role in the displacement of the President and Mr Suharto's own moves to oust president Sukarno in the bloodshed after the aborted 1965 coup. Sukarno died four years later after his last years were spent under virtual house arrest. Despite Mr Juwono's claims that only a military figure is likely to fill the void, many academics and observers say Indonesia is fast moving towards full civilian rule. 'These people have no ideology anymore,' said University of Indonesia political scientist Arbi Sanit. 'No one has faith in these people who are interested only in money and power.' The 400,000 military has long had a key role both in security and government.