Democracy in Indonesia refers to government in the country which practices direct election of representatives, free press, freedom of assembly and other constitutional rights. democracy in Indonesia is a government in Southeast Asia and Oceania involving the government of the major cities and major economic centers of the country. It constitutes approximately eighty-five percent of the total population of Indonesian. It is recognized by the United Nations and other bodies for its vibrant and diverse culture, tradition, history, and civilization.
A democratic form of government was declared in Indonesia following independence. Under the United Nations Security Council (UNSCO), an elected government is recognized as having genuine political power which can change the country’s system of government through free and fair elections. The process of democratic transition starts with People’s Democratic Revival (PDR), which is a planned and orchestrated initiative by the people itself under the guidance of a constitutional monarch. Independence day in Indonesia is celebrated in 1998. Thereafter, the name of Indonesia is changed to Indonesia after the first elections under the new system of law.
During the period of independence, Indonesia was ruled directly by the military junta with the exception of small areas. After independence, military rulers established themselves as dictators who were recognized as head of state by the people. A key feature of democracy in Indonesia is an established civilian government which consists of a president, vice president, cabinet, and legislature. All the political activities are carried out through the formal system of voting for representatives. Major political parties are permitted to exist but only two seats are available for the presidential seat.
Thereafter, moderate governments led by technocrats came into being. They were supported by the United States and other Western nations with a view to promote a democratic transition. The new constitution granted freedom of speech and press, expanded the role of women, limited absolute power of the president, and placed limits on the role of religion in public life. Although the majority of the population was keen on democracy, there were instances of intolerance towards religious beliefs, ethnicity, or sex. A strong military presence was also apparent in rural areas, reflecting the divide between urban and rural living in Indonesia.
Under military rule, most of the people were illiterate and poor. Although some were educated during the time of dictatorship, the majority was illiterate. The education sector was closed to all but the upper class. Religion was banned and mass education was limited to girls above the age of 15. A small number of universities existed including one in Jakarta, but all were restricted to men. Women could join the military forces but to get a degree, they had to marry a local man and relocate to the countryside.
democracy in Indonesia does not work without civilian control over the military. Both the national and the armed forces have to be kept under civilian control to maintain peace. Military coups and periods of instability do not help when trying to introduce democracy. In short, we are still waiting for the day when democracy in Indonesia will be realized.