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HIGHLIGHTS ON INDONESIA





GOVERNMENT

State Organs.

According to the 1945 Constitution, there are six organs of the state:

1. The People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat).

2. The Presidency.

3. The House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat).

4. The Supreme Advisory Council (Dewan Pertimbangan Agung).

5. The State Audit Board (Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan).

6. The Supreme Court (Mahkamah Agung).

THE PEOPLE'S CONSULATIVE ASSEMBLY

Article 1 of the 1945 Constitution states that Indonesia is a republic with sovereignty vested in the people to be fully exercised by an elected People's Consultative Assembly, which is the highest political institution in the state. Since the assembly holds the supreme power in the state, the people voice their political and social aspirations through this body.

The major tasks of the Assembly are to sanction the Constitution, decree the Guidelines of State Policy, and elect the President and Vice-President for a term of office of five years.

The 1993 Guidelines of State Policy was decreed on the General Session of the Assembly which was held from March 1-11-1993. The 1993 Guidelines of State Policy, which is implemented on the last year of the Fifth five-Year Development Plan has a special and strategic meaning because it is the first step of the second of Twenty Five - Year long term of Development Plan, and also a preparation period for the taxing process of national development as the implementation of Pancasila.

In relation to the Assembly, the President is its Mandatary and, as such, is accountable to the Assembly for the conduct of government. In the exercise of his duties, the President is assisted by the Vice-President.

The total membership of the People's Consultative Assembly is twice the membership of the House of Representatives. All members of the House are concurrently members of the Assembly. The second half of the Assembly's membership consists of members from political organizations, the various factions of the Armed Forces faction, and from Golkar. It also includes regional delegates and representatives from professional groups.

* On the composition of the House's membership, see under the heading: The House of Representatives.

When the Act No. 5 of 1975 was in force (up to the general elections of 1982), the membership of the House was 460 and that of the Assembly 920. When the act was amended by Act No. 2 of 1985, the membership of the House grew to 500, and the membership of the Assembly to 1,000.

Based on this later Act, the composition of the Consultative Assembly's membership is as follows:

a. The 500 members of the House of Representatives.

b. In addition to the above members of the House, political organizations contending in the general election, namely Partai Persatuan, PDI and Golkar, as well as the Armed Forces faction in the House, are allowed additional membership that is proportionate to their respective membership in the House. As the result of 1987 General Elections, the above additional membership was 253.

c. Delegates from the First Level Regions or Provinces, shall number not less than four persons for a province with a population of less than 1 million, and not more than eight persons for a province with population of 15 million people, making for a total of 147 delegates. These regional delegates are elected by their respective regional legislative assemblies.

d. Representatives of professional groups number 100 persons. These representatives are appointed by the President on the recommendations of their respective organizations or at the President's discretion.

The Chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly is concurrently Chairman of the House of Representatives. He is assisted by five Vice-Chairmen.

The election of the Assembly's chairman is by consensus among members. Where this is impossible, voting may be resorted to as provided for by the 1945 Constitution. The present Chairman of the Assembly is H. Wahono.

The Assembly is composed of five factions:

a. The Armed Forces

b. The Functional Group (Golkar)

c. The United Development Party

d. The Indonesian Democracy Party

e. The Regional delegates

The Assembly meets not less than once every five years in a General Session and may convene Special Session whenever the need arises.

THE PRESIDENT AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE

In the government system of Indonesia, the President is both the state and the chief executive. He holds office for a term of five years and is eligible for re-election. Since the President is also the Mandatary of the People's Consultative Assembly, he must execute his duties in compliance with the Guidelines of State Policy as decreed by the Assembly.

The Sixth Development Cabinet

The General Session of the Assembly which was held from March 1 -11, 1993, re-elected President Soeharto to his fifth term of office and elected General (Ret) Try Sutrisno as Vice-President, both for a term of five years from 1993 to 1998. As the chief executive, it is the practice of the President to appoint the executives to assist him in the Sixth Development Cabinet, in the level of ministers, coordinating ministers, and high officials with the status of a state minister.

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The total membership of the House of Representatives is 500. It is composed of:

a. 400 members representing the political organizations that take part in the general election, i.e., Partai Persatuan, Golkar and PDI;

b. 100 members appointed from the Armed Forces. To determine the number of the elected members in the House, the following procedure applies. Each elected member represents at least 400,000 citizens. Hence, if the population is estimated at 180,000,000 people, the total number of elected members is 400.

During general elections, the provinces form constituencies and are entitled to representation by elected members, the number being derived from the division of the provincial population by 400,000. Provinces with very small populations are represented by a number of elected members not less than the number of districts in the province and each district shall have not less than one representative.

The reason for the appointment of 100 members from the armed forces is that they are not only an instrument of defense and security, they also constitute a socio-political force. However, servicemen cannot take part in general elections. To ensure that they are not denied their political rights as citizens, their representatives in the House are appointed on the recommendation of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

The Present House of Representatives was inaugurated on October1, 1988, with Kharis Suhud as the Speaker. Membership in the House lasts for five years.

The House consists of four factions, representing Golkar, the Armed Forces, the United Development Party (Partai Persatuan) and the Indonesian Democracy Party (PDI).

Committees

The House is further divided into permanent committees, each in charge of certain areas of public life. Except for the Speaker and Vice-Speaker, all members of the House belong to one of its 11 committees. The committees are listed below.

Committee I : deals with foreign affairs, defense and security, information, the Armed Forces, the National Defense Council, the National Intelligence Co-ordinating Body, and the State "Code" institution.

Committee II : deals with home affairs, the office of the Minister for Administrative Reform, the State Secretariat, the Junior Minister/Cabinet Secretary, the Institute of Public Administration, the Civil Service Administration, the National Archives, and the Board to Promote Education implementing the Guidance of the Comprehension and Practice of Pancasila.

Committee III : deals with the Department of Justice, and the Attorney General's Office.

Committee IV : deals with agriculture, forestry and transmigration.

Committee V : deals with communication, tourism, post and telecommunications, public works, People's Housing and the Council of Telecommunication.

Committee VI : deals with industry, mining, energy, man-power, and the Investment Coordinating Board.

Committee VII : deals with finance, trade, cooperatives, the Central Bank and the National Logistics Body.

Committee VIII : deals with public health, social affairs, the role of women, and family planning.

Committee IX : deal also with education and culture, religious affairs, the young generation and sports.

Committee X : deals with national development planning, population and the environment, research and technology, the National Development Planning Agency, the Board of Technological Research and Application, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, the National Atomic Agency, the National Mapping and Survey Coordinating Board, the National Space and Aeronautics Institute, and the Indonesian Aviation Council.

Committee XI : deals with the State Budget.

THE SUPREME COURT

The Supreme Court is the judicial arm of the State and exists beside the legislative and the executive branches. It enjoys an independent status in the socio-political fabric. It was not until 1968 that the restructuring of the Supreme Court was completed to meet the conditions set out in the 1945 Constitution, i.e., to be free from government intervention in the exercise of justice. In 1970, a law was enacted that laid down the basic principle of Indonesia's judicial powers. The present Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is Soerjono S.H.

ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISION REGIONS

The Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia is divided into 27 provinces which are sub-divided into 241 districts, 56 municipalities and 3,625 sub-districts or kecamatans.

Three of the provinces are special territories, namely the Capital City of Jakarta, the Special Territory of Yogyakarta, and the Special Territory of Aceh.

Altogether there are 66,979 villages (1990/1991) which are classified into desas, or rural villages, and kelurahans, or urban villages. The head of a desa is elected by the village community, whereas the head of a kelurahan, called a lurah, is a civil servant appointed by a camat or head of a sub-district on behalf of the governor.

(Source: INDONESIA 1995, An Official Handbook.)

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