01.05.01. Background | Indonesia

01.05.01. Background | Indonesia

13 Apr 2022

The Republic of Indonesia is a presidential republic that was founded in 1945 and gained full independence in 1949. A Federal Constitution was established in 1949, then briefly abandoned and reinstated in 1959. The Constitution regulates relationships with other states but also outlines responsibilities and powers, such as relations between state institutions (legislative, executive, and judiciary) within the country (Qatar Embassy in Jakarta – Republic of Indonesia, 2018). There were several upheavals until 1967 General Suharto became president. The ‘New Order’ regime was in power until 1998, following the Asian crisis in 1997. Between 1998 and 2000 the country underwent major political and governmental reform, including four amendments to the constitution and reorganisation of legislative and judiciary authorities to decentralise power. In 1999, for the first time, free elections were held in Indonesia. Aburrahman Wahid became elected president and stayed in power until 2001, when he was dismissed by parliament. He was superseded by Megawati Sukarnoputri. She was unseated in the 2004 elections by former general Susilo Bambang Yuhoyono. In 2014, Joko Widodo became president (BBC, 2019; CIA World Factbook, 2019; Qatar Embassy in Jakarta – Republic of Indonesia, 2018).

In Indonesia, executive powers lie with the ‘president, vice president, and the cabinet of ministers’. In the presidential cabinet, ministers do not represent their political parties but report to the president (The Embassy of Indonesia – Prague, 2015). Legislative powers lie with the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), which is made up of two parts. First, the Parliament which represents elected members of political parties. Second, the Regional Representative Council (DPD), which is made up of four elected delegates per province. According to the Embassy of Indonesia to the Czech Republic, ‘the MPR has 550 members from the parliament and 128 members form the’ DPD (The Embassy of Indonesia – Prague, 2015). Judiciary powers lie with the Supreme Court (The Embassy of Indonesia – Prague, 2015).


BBC. (2019). Indonesia profile – Timeline. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-15114517

CIA World Factbook. (2019). Indonesia. https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/indonesia/

Qatar Embassy in Jakarta – Republic of Indonesia. (2018). Political System. http://jakarta.embassy.qa/en/indonesia/political-system

The Embassy of Indonesia – Prague. (2015). The Government of the Republic of Indonesia. http://www.indonesia.cz/the-government-of-the-republic-of-indonesia/