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Indonesia is a republic with a presidential system. As a unitary state, power is concentrated in the central government. Following the resignation of President Suharto in 1998, Indonesian political and governmental structures have undergone major reforms. Four amendments to the 1945 Constitution of Indonesia have revamped the executive, judicial, and legislative branches. The president of Indonesia is the head of state, commander-in-chief of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, and the director of domestic governance, policy-making, and foreign affairs. The president appoints a council of ministers, who are not required to be elected members of the legislature. The 2004 presidential election was the first in which the people directly elected the president and vice president. The president may serve a maximum of two consecutive five-year terms.

The highest representative body at national level is the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR). Its main functions are supporting and amending the constitution, inaugurating the president, and formalizing broad outlines of state policy. It has the power to impeach the president. The MPR comprises two houses; the People's Representative Council (DPR), with 560 members, and the Regional Representative Council (DPD), with 132 members.[51] The DPR passes legislation and monitors the executive branch; party-aligned members are elected for five-year terms by proportional representation. Reforms since 1998 have markedly increased the DPR's role in national governance. The DPD is a new chamber for matters of regional management.

Most civil disputes appear before a State Court (Pengadilan Negeri); appeals are heard before the High Court (Pengadilan Tinggi). The Supreme Court (Mahkamah Agung) is the country's highest court, and hears final cessation appeals and conducts case reviews. Other courts include the Commercial Court, which handles bankruptcy and insolvency; a State Administrative Court (Pengadilan Tata Negara) to hear administrative law cases against the government; a Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) to hear disputes concerning legality of law, general elections, dissolution of political parties, and the scope of authority of state institutions; and a Religious Court (Pengadilan Agama) to deal with codified Sharia Law cases.

Politics of Indonesia

Politics of Indonesia takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Indonesia is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two People's Representative Councils. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The 1945 constitution provided for a limited separation of executive, legislative, and judicial power. The governmental system has been described as "presidential with parliamentary characteristics." Following the Indonesian riots of May 1998 and the resignation of President Suharto, several political reforms were set in motion via amendments to the Constitution of Indonesia, which resulted in changes to all branches of government.

Reform process

A constitutional reform process lasted from 1999 to 2002, with four constitutional amendments producing important changes.

Among these are term limits of up to two five-year terms for the President and Vice President, and measures to institute checks and balances. The highest state institution is the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), whose functions previously included electing the president and vice president (since 2004 the president has been elected directly by the people), establishing broad guidelines of state policy, and amending the constitution. The 695-member MPR includes all 550 members of the People's Representative Council (DPR) (the House of Representatives) plus 130 "regional representatives" elected by the twenty-six provincial parliaments and sixty-five appointed members from societal groups

The DPR, which is the premier legislative institution, originally included 462 members elected through a mixed proportional/district representational system and thirty-eight appointed members of the armed forces (TNI) and police (POLRI). TNI/POLRI representation in the DPR and MPR ended in 2004. Societal group representation in the MPR was eliminated in 2004 through further constitutional change.

Having served as rubberstamp bodies in the past, the DPR and MPR have gained considerable power and are increasingly assertive in oversight of the executive branch. Under constitutional changes in 2004, the MPR became a bicameral legislature, with the creation of the Dewan Perwakilan Daerah (DPD), in which each province is represented by four members, although its legislative powers are more limited than those of the DPR. Through his appointed cabinet, the president retains the authority to conduct the administration of the government.

A general election in June 1999 produced the first freely elected national, provincial, and regional parliaments in over forty years. In October 1999 the MPR elected a compromise candidate, Abdurrahman Wahid, as the country's fourth president, and Megawati Sukarnoputri — a daughter of Sukarno, the country's first president — as the vice president. Megawati's PDI-P party had won the largest share of the vote (34%) in the general election, while Golkar, the dominant party during the Soeharto era, came in second (22%). Several other, mostly Islamic parties won shares large enough to be seated in the DPR. Further democratic elections took place in 2004 and 2009.

Executive branch

The president and vice president are selected by vote of the citizens for five-year terms. Prior to 2004, they were chosen by People's Consultative Assembly. The last election was held 8 July 2009. The president heads the United Indonesia Cabinet (Kabinet Indonesia Bersatu) The President of Indonesia is directly elected for a maximum of two five-year terms, and is the head of state, commander-in-chief of Indonesian armed forces and responsible for domestic governance and policy-making and foreign affairs. The president appoints a cabinet, who do not have to be elected members of the legislature

Main office holde
Office Name Party Since
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono DPD 20 October 2004
Vice-president Boediono Non-Party 20 October 2009

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