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Politics of Indonesia

Indonesia is a republic based on the 1945 constitution providing for a limited separation of executive, legislative, and judicial power. The governmental system has been described as "presidential with parliamentary characteristics." A constitutional reform process has been underway since 1999, and has already produced several important changes. Among these are two 5-year term limits for the President and Vice President and measures to institute checks and balances. The highest state institution is the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), whose functions include electing the president and vice president, establishing broad guidelines of state policy, and amending the constitution. The 695-member MPR includes all 500 members of the House of Representatives (DPR) plus 130 "regional representatives" elected by the 26 provincial parliaments and 65 appointed members from societal groups. The DPR, which is the premier legislative institution, includes 462 members elected through a mixed proportional/district representational system and 38 appointed members of the armed forces (TNI) and police (POLRI). During the authoritarian Soeharto era, the armed forces played a central political role under a doctrine known as "dual function," with the DPR and MPR comprising a substantially higher proportion of appointed TNI/POLRI and societal group members than at present. Under existing agreements, TNI/POLRI representation in the DPR will end at the time of the next general election in 2004 and will end in the MPR in 2009. Societal group representation in the MPR is expected to be eliminated in 2004 through further constitutional change. Military domination of regional administration is gradually breaking down, with new regulations prohibiting active-duty officers from holding political office.

A general election in June 1999 produced the first freely elected national, provincial, and regional parliaments in over 40 years. In October 1999 the MPR elected a compromise candidate, Abdurrahman Wahid (a.k.a Gus Dur), as the country's fourth president, and Megawati Sukarnoputri, a daughter of the country's first president, as the vice president. Megawati's PDI-P party had won the largest share of the vote (34%) in the general election, while Golkar, the dominant party during the Soeharto era, came in second (22%). Several other, mostly Islamic parties won shares large enough to be seated in the DPR. Having served as rubberstamp bodies in the past, the DPR and MPR have gained considerable power and are increasingly assertive in oversight of the executive branch. In part, this reflects a desire to prevent the presidential excesses of the past and, in part, to restrain Wahid, who is seen as at times dangerously unpredictable. Through his appointed cabinet, the president retains the authority to conduct the administration of the government, but some observers believe the balance of power has shifted too far in the direction of the legislature.

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Indonesia
conventional short form: Indonesia
local long form: Republik Indonesia
local short form: Indonesia
former: Netherlands East Indies

Data code: ID

Government type: republic

Capital: Jakarta

Administrative divisions:

See Provinces of Indonesia.

Independence: 17 August 1945 (proclaimed independence; on 27 December 1949, Indonesia became legally independent from the Netherlands)

National holiday: Independence Day, 17 August (1945)

Constitution: August 1945, abrogated by Federal Constitution of 1949 and Provisional Constitution of 1950, restored 5 July 1959

Legal system: based on Roman-Dutch law, substantially modified by indigenous concepts and by new criminal procedures code; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 17 years of age; universal and married persons regardless of age

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Megawati SUKARNOPUTRI (Since ?? 2001) President Abdurrahman WAHID[?] (since 20 October 1999); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Megawati SUKARNOPUTRI (Since ?? 2001) President Abdurrahman WAHID (since 20 October 1999); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet
elections: president and vice president selected by vote of the People's Consultative Assembly for five-year terms; selection last held 20 October 1999 (next to be held by NA 2004)
election results: Abdurrahman WAHID selected president by vote of the People's Consultative Assembly, receiving 373 votes to 313 votes for MEGAWATI; MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri selected vice president by vote of the People's Consultative Assembly

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Representatives or Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR) (500 seats; 462 elected by popular vote, 38 are appointed military representatives; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 7 June 1999 (next to be held NA June 2004)
election results: percent of vote by party - PDI-P 37.4%, Golkar 20.9%, PKB 17.4%, PPP 10.7%, PAN 7.3%, PBB 1.8%, other 4.5%; seats by party - PDI-P 154, Golkar 120, PPP 58, PKB 51, PAN 35, PBB 14, other 30
note: the People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat or MPR) includes the DPR plus 200 indirectly selected members; it meets every five years to elect the president and vice president and to approve the broad outlines of national policy

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Mahkamah Agung), the judges are appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders: Crescent Moon and Star Party[?] or PBB (Yusril Ihza MAHENDRA[?], chairman); Development Unity Party[?] or PPP (federation of former Islamic parties) (Hamzah HAZ[?], chairman); Golkar[?] (Akbar TANSUNG[?], general chairman); Indonesia Democracy Party[?] or PDI (federation of former Nationalist and Christian Parties) (Budi HARDJONO[?], chairman); Indonesia Democracy Party-Struggle[?] or PDI-P (MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri, chairperson); National Awakening Party[?] or PKB (Abdurrahman WAHID); National Mandate Party[?] or PAN (Amien RAIS[?], chairman)

International organization participation: APEC, AsDB, ASEAN, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-15[?], G-19[?], G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB[?], IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, International Maritime Organization, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMOP, UNMOT[?], UNOMIG[?], UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador DORODJATUN Kuntjoro-Jakti[?]
chancery: 2020 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 775-5200
FAX: [1] (202) 775-5365
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Robert GELBARD[?]
embassy: Medan Merdeka Selatan 5, Jakarta
mailing address: Unit 8129, Box 1, APO AP 96520
telephone: [62] (21) 344-2211
FAX: [62] (21) 386-2259
consulate(s) general: Surabaya

Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white; similar to the flag of Monaco, which is shorter; also similar to the flag of Poland, which is white (top) and red

See also : Indonesia



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