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The State
GarudaThe power is split in three, theoretically at least, between a executive, a legislative and a judicial body. The president has the highest executive power, even though things may change in a near future.
   The legislative power belongs to People's Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat - DPR). It consists of 500 people of which a hundred is military men appointed by the president. The other 400 is qualified trough elections. Every citizen over 17 years has the right to vote.
   The People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat - MPR) meets every five years. It has 1000 members. Half of the seats is reserved for DPR members and the other half consists of provincial politicians and representatives from different professional and other groups. Their most important task is to elect the president and vice-president.
   The High Court has the judicial power. Its judges is nominated by DPR and elected by the president. The High Court ministers four different courts: crime, taxes, religion and military.

For those of you interested, I give the Declaration of Independence in Bahasa Indonesia as read by Sukarno.

Kami bangsa Indonesia dengan ini menjatakan Kemerdekaan Indonesia.
Hal-hal jang mengenai pemindahan kekoeasaan dan lain lain diselenggarakan denga tjara saksama dan dalem tempo jang sesingkat-singkatnja.

Djakarta, hari 17 boelan 8 tahoen 1945.
Atas nama bangsa Indonesia.


Please note that the spelling has changed since 1945, I just wanted to give a historical feel for it...

An English translation would read something like this:

We, the people of Indonesia, hereby declare Indonesia's independence. Matters concerning the transfer of power and other matters will be executed in an orderly manner and in the shortest possible time.

Signed Sukarno/Hatta

Panca Sila
Sukarno gives the power to SuhartoThe state ideology is called Panca Sila and was an invention of Sukarnos collected political thinking during a long period before he spoke for the first time of Panca Sila. Sukarno saw it as a philosophical basis for nationalist action (this was in the early days of the Indonesian nation), and for the future republic to which it was leading. The ideology was desighed to encompass all the different groups in Indonesia - in all an effort to reach a Unity in diversity.
   The five principles of Panca Sila is nationalism, Internationalism (or Humanitarianism), Democracy (or consent), social prosperity and Belief in one God. According to Sukarno, these principles would bring together the best of Western thinking and the deeply rooted traditional values of the Indonesian society.

OK, time for some personal views. Indonesia is a dictatorship and the Dutch before them was even worse. If you have a different opinion, you are extremely welcome to send me a mail.
   Habibie takes control from SuhartoEstablishing that, a dictatorship always seem very stable when the power has everything in control. Then things starts to deteriorate and the leader is kicked out and a new one comes along. That is what has happened just recently in 97-98 when Suharto was forced to go and was replaced by Habibie. But this time the military (who are the real rulers) don't seem to be all that happy about choice of leader. It was a critical situation and a quick and necessary solution was to kick out Suharto and put someone else as president. Habibie is not the first choice, but it stopped the riots.
   In 1965 Sukarno had problems he couldn't solve; sky-rocketing inflation, no food to the people and different groups fighting for power. Then came Suharto and took the power away from Sukarno. The situation in 1965 was different from 1998 though, with the killing of six military officers. The communists where accused of the murdering and the military and ordinary people organized in gangs, killed, slaughtered and looted for a year or two. Then the communists were banned and there was order. Period.

What is next?
In 1999 Indonesia finally, for the first time elected a democratic leader in Wahid (this is a personal view, but I kinda like the man). Problems of power struggles and old steady hierarchies is still there, but if anyone, Wahid is the man to get things going, in a peaceful way.
   There is still the odd general that hasn't realized that the time has run passed the days of military power, corrupt politicians and criminal gangs roaming the countryside, but maybe, just maybe, the people of Indonesia will finally have their destiny in their own hands.
   The above mentioned problems is still there, but Wahid (if he lives) may be the trick of stearing Indonesia in the right direction. This is of course only speculations, and only time will tell what will happen...

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