Democracy in Indonesia can be defined as government of general public assemblies, freedom of speech, right to assemble and freedom of religion or belief. It is also known as independent political system, multi-party state, multiparty election, proportional representation and multipurpose system. It is characterized by strong constitutional commitment to principles of social unity and economic development, with a strong sense of community and a low tolerance for diversity. The concept of democracy in Indonesia evolved through centuries of struggle between western and Islamic influences. Nowadays Indonesia faces various challenges to preserving its multicultural and tolerant values.
In Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, it is characterized by multipurpose government, inclusive of a vibrant democracy, rule of law and freedom of assembly. It is made up of more than seventeen thousand islands, which include Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and other parts of Borneo and New Guinea. Indonesia has a unique system of government established through constitutional means with a head administrative council and an independent legislature. There are separate chambers for the formulation of laws and resolutions, and a separate supreme court with limited power and authority.
Under the constitution approved in Jakarta,the supreme body called the Cabinet,which is comprised of the head of state and members of the legislature, has the power to make laws concerning the affairs of the state and control all executive and judicial powers. The constitution also spells out the main organs of government including the prime minister, ministers, cabinet members, local governments, national associations, and non-profit organizations. It also states the procedures for elections and lists the powers that the governor has in times of crises. The democratic form of government in Indonesia emphasizes respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and guarantees the rights of the people in general.
The evolution of democracy in Indonesia began after Sukarno was deposed and replaced by Anwar Sadat, who was elected in January 1945 on the basis of a military junta which had been formed from the ranks of the armed forces. Sukarno’s immediate replacement as president was General Muhammad Egeddedji, who was based in Java. He set about drafting a new constitution for a new government which included elements from Sukarno’s original constitution drafted during World War ll. The new constitution included elements of Suharto’s PPR and emphasized a secular state. A military junta known as the Kompas regiments were put in charge of executing the new constitution. General Egeddedji was also made a vice president of the republic after Sukarno was relieved of all her powers.
After Egeddedji was made a vice president, General Humayun was made a general and later prime minister. Under the leadership of President Muhammad Egeddedji, a period of rapid economic development began in Indonesia. The first decade of the new century saw political stability established as the political parties began to form coalitions to compete for national power. The main political parties, with the help of the United States, pursued economic expansion programs, nationalizing many industries and introducing a new constitutional system based on representative form of parliament. Political parties in Indonesia today still participate in multiparty democracy, vowing to continue to work for the welfare of the Indonesian people.
democracy in indonesia is threatened by armed groups which have been given a base from which to carry out terrorist activities. International terrorists who are disenchanted by the conduct of the current regime in Indonesia can turn against the country and carry out attacks against civilians. Many analysts believe that the existence of a stable democracy in Indonesia is highly threatened due to the presence of a small number of transnational terrorist organizations in the country, which continue to clash between their fighters and the Indonesian security forces. These groups could destabilize the balance of power between the people and the government, leading to coups and increased instability in Indonesia.