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A constitutional issue is being debated in Indonesia. This issue is part of the idea for a constitutional amendment. At the time of this global pandemic, the political elite threw the issue of changing the constitution.
What is the urgency of constitutional amendments?
Can constitutional amendments solve all current problems in Indonesia?
Why do political elites call for constitutional amendments?
This issue relates to the debate about the terms of office of the president and vice president. For information to the reader, the term of office of the president and vice president in Indonesia is only allowed for two terms. One period lasts for five years. So, the term of office of the president and vice president in Indonesia can only be for 10 years.
Apart from that, there are many other issues that arise in the public discussion. The Regional Representative Council in Indonesia asks for equality in the state administration.
So far, the Regional Representatives Council in Parliament does not have the same rights as the People's Representative Council. Thus, the Regional Representative Council which is filled by these senators is underestimated in the activities of national legislation.
Senators in Indonesia are also not able to attend meetings of the people's representatives with the government to determine the leadership of government institutions, or choose the chairman of the supreme court.
Senators also do not participate in determining constitutional judges.
Senators do not participate in the meeting to elect the commissioners who lead the anti-corruption agency, or the EMB, or other institutions.
Senators do not participate in selecting the chief of the police or, senators do not participate in determining the commander-in-chief for the Indonesian national army.
Another problem that has emerged lately is the political elite who is trying to read the issue of constitutional amendments as a first step to changing other articles in the constitution.
It's not just the issue of senators, but there's the issue of how the government manages natural resources.
Articles that regulate natural resources are believed to be the main issue behind the issue of the term of office of the president and vice president.
To that end, the Independent Committee for Monitoring the Indonesian Elections held a refocus group discussion on the urgency of amendments to the Indonesian constitution.
And to formulate the problem index, the Independent Committee for Monitoring the Indonesian Elections invited academics, election technocrats, and representatives from the presidential staff office.
These resource persons are expected to provide opinions and information including suggestions to determine the follow-up of this discussion.
From this discussion, some facts were revealed, namely:
The government, in this case the President, has been firm in rejecting the constitutional amendments.
The deputy in the Presidential Staff Office clearly said that the President refused to increase the period for the terms of office of the president and vice president.
So, the issue of constitutional amendments to create a three-term presidential term does not come from the government.
The issue came from the parliament who wanted to bring up discussion for constitutional amendments but the political elite used the issue of the president's term of office as a door to amend the constitution.
In addition, it is clear that political problems in Indonesia do not originate from the constitution. Political problems in Indonesia stem from the governance of political parties.
The multi-party system in Indonesia forces regulations to use the concept of an open list of legislative candidates so that the one with the most votes will become a member of the people's representative council.
However, there is no prohibition against constitutional amendments. As long as the Assembly in parliament agreed to the amendments. Then, the amendment process will occur.
It's just, what are the legal points that must be corrected. Therefore, election technocrats recommend that every academic and democracy activist prepare a backup plan.
The backup plan must be drafted into a proposed amendment if the constitutional amendments are discussed by parliament.
The constitutional amendment is an open space for the people to ask for improvements in the structure of the bureaucracy, improvements in law enforcement, government guarantees in managing natural resources, and other problems that require a constitution as a solution.
Focus Group Discussion organized by the Independent Election Monitoring Committee (KIPP) of Indonesia. The theme of this FGD is the Fifth Amendment to the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia.
The speakers for this FGD include:
Ahsanul Minan, Lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the Indonesian Nahdhatul Ulama University
August Melaz, Executive Director of the Syndicate of Elections and Democracy (member of the KIPP National Assembly)
Jury Ardiantoro, Deputy of the Presidential Staff Office (member of the KIPP National Assembly)
Robikin Emhas, Deputy Chairperson of the Nahdhatul Ulama Executive Board (member of the KIPP National Assembly)
Issues that became the background of the discussion:
Urgency of Amendment to the Constitution
Principles of State Policy
Revision of the Election Law and the holding of simultaneous elections