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
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
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
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
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
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
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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