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Historical Construction of The Indonesian Presidential System: Do people voices matter?


Nurliah Nurdin*
Institute of Government Internal Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Indonesia

*Corresponding author; email: nnurliah@yahoo.com / nurliah@hotmail.com



This paper analyzes the Indonesian politics, with particular reference to the presidential system. During the formation of the country, the framers of the Constitution have mixed understanding on what forms of political system the country intends to adopt, either parliamentary or presidential. The principle debate centers on the legislative and partisan powers of the Indonesian president, expecially the people voice in the strong presidential system. The historical accounts of the early Indonesia suggest that colonialism scars influence certain personalities like Soekarno and Soepomo to favor for an executive-superior system. On the other hand, Muhammad Yamin fears for a strong totalitarian president and thus proposes a legislative-superior system where the power of the president can be curbed by having a system of checks and balances. A series of institutional reforms in the presidential system have also focused on the relationship between the president and other state organs. The paper concludes that the post-democratization era after 1998 provides a more balanced power to the legislature.

Keywords: presidential system, executive-legislative relations, Indonesian politics