How Indonesia's Successive Presidents Decide
As the campaign (Kampanye) for next year's presidential election (Pemilu Pilpres Pileg Indonesia 2019) is lifted, it has been decided that the order in which the ballot papers will be printed will be No. 1 for the incumbent President Jokowi and Vice President Mahuru candidate pair and No. 2 for President Prabowo and Vice President Sandiagauno candidate pair.
It is the so-called General Election, which brings together the presidential election Pilpres (Pemilihan Presiden) and the legislative (DPR and DPD) parliamentary elections Pileg (Pemilihan Legislatif) and local parliamentary (DPRD) elections.
- DPR (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat) National Representative Assembly, a 575-member legislature. It is close to Japan's House of Representatives.
- The DPD (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah) Regional Representative Assembly will elect four members each from the DPRD in 35 states, so there will be 140 members. It's not unlike the Japanese House of Councillors.
- DPRD (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah) Regional People's Representative Assembly Like a local assembly in Japan.
It is the same as in Japan's election for the nomination of the prime minister that a candidate for the presidential election must necessarily be backed by a party or coalition of parties holding a certain percentage of seats in the DPR.
However, it was not until 2004 when Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (a.k.a. SBY) became the sixth president of Indonesia, defeating the then incumbent President Megawati, in the 2004 presidential election.
- President Sukarno, 1945.
After the Declaration of Independence on August 17
- President Suharto, 1965.
After the September 30 incident coup.
- President Habibie, 1998.
He was promoted from vice president upon Mr. Suharto's resignation.
- President Gus Dul (Wahid) 1999
After the election for the presidential nomination within the MPR in the context of the general elections, which were held in a situation where party activity was liberalized and parties ran amok, the first party PDI-P, the second party Golkar and the third party PKB. Mr. Megawati as Vice President.
- President Megawati, 2001.
He was promoted from vice president following the impeachment of President Wahid (Gus Dur).
- President SBY (Yudhoyono), 2004
He defeated the incumbent Megawati in the first direct presidential election by the people and was re-elected in 2009 after defeating Megawati again.
- President Jokowi, 2014.
He was elected after defeating Prabowo as mayor of Solo and governor of Jakarta Special Province.
President Suharto resigned May 1998
When I first came to Indonesia in October 1997, when the Suharto regime was still a one-party dictatorship, I remember being impressed by the fact that the sitting president was printed on the 50,000 rupiah note of the highest banknote, which was slightly smaller than the 100 rupiah note in red and the 500 rupiah note with a bright green orangutan design.
During the 32 years of the Suharto administration, the KKN (Korupsi Corruption, Kolusi Talks, and Nepotisme Nepotism) was rampant, and Indonesia faced many political and administrative problems.
It was in July 1997 when I decided to change jobs from a banking systems company in Tokyo to an IT company in Jakarta. The Indonesian rupiah (krisis moneter for short), which had just been triggered by the Indonesian currency crisis that was linked to the Thai currency crisis, was falling fast and furiously, and the value of my rupiah-denominated salary was reduced by a quarter in yen terms.
In 1998, the price of fuel (BBM Bahan Bakar Minyak) skyrocketed, the price of the nine Sembako (Sembilan Bahan Pokok), a necessity of life, increased the discontent of the common people, and the criticism that only the Suharto family was increasing their own money was openly heard. Students and other demonstrators rallied in front of the MPR every day, leading to the unforgettable Jakarta Riot (Kerusuhan Mei 1998) as the calls for reformasi (reform) from political instability and economic turmoil heated up.
At that time, I had to take a taxi from Kuningan to my client Bank Sumitomo Niaga (now Bank Sumitomo Mitsui Indonesia) in Sumit Masbil, South Jakarta, to go straight home, but as the student rally at Atmajaya University near the Sumangi intersection intensified day by day, the traffic on Sudirman Street in the evening when it was time to go home was almost paralyzed by the demonstrations.
In front of Atma Jaya University on the way, student demonstrators and police were confronting each other every day, and while I was watching with a lot of onlookers, I suddenly heard several high-pitched dry gunshots.
On the morning of May 13, I was working in Smittmassville as usual when I received a call from a company on Tamlin Street asking me not to go outside because they were going to pick me up.
I went from Senopati Street behind Sumit Masbir to Mampang, but I saw a crowd at the intersection, so I made an immediate U-turn and wandered around for more than 4 hours, avoiding the crowds that were gathering here and there, under the cover of student demonstrations that were obviously not rioters, I went north on Sudirman Street, and returned safely to my home in Kuningan in battlefield movie-like conditions with armored vehicles coming and going.
In addition to the political and economic turmoil, President Suharto held a resignation conference on May 21, bowing to public dissatisfaction with the deteriorating security caused by the riots.
Habibbi administration May 1998 - October 1999
While President Suharto's resignation speech, which was broadcast live on television, is still fresh in our minds, B.J. Habibie, who was vice president in the last Suharto administration, was elevated to the position of the third president of Indonesia.
However, President Habibie is a non-Javanese (from Sulawesi), a non-military Muslim, and before he became a politician, he was the vice president of the German airline company Messerschmitt.
President Habibie's speech, a businessman with a background in engineering, was a very lively speech that used the most important features of the Indonesian language, inflection and retention.
President Habibie is often underestimated as a bridge between the two interim governments, but I think he played an important role in paving the first pathway to the transition from a power-centralized dictatorship to a modern democratic state.
The Habibie government, which took over President Suharto's seven-term, 32-year dictatorship, legislated (enacted a law) the Political Parties and Elections Act that downgraded the Golkar party Partai Golkar, which had been given special treatment as a professional body (Golongan Karya) under the law, to just one political party.
The Constitution, drawn up at the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1945, stipulates that sovereignty rests with the National People's Council (MPR), and under the MPR, the National Assembly (DPR) as the legislative branch, the President as the executive branch, the Supreme Court as the judicial branch, the Board of Public Accounts (BPK), and the Supreme Consultative Assembly (DPA) were established to distribute state power among the five national institutions.
- National People's Council (MPR)
- Democratic Parliament (DPR)
- Supreme Court
- Board of Accountancy (BPK Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan)
- Supreme Advisory Council (DPA Dewan Pertimbangan Agung)
In reality, however, the majority of MPR lawmakers are presidential appointees who are members of the Golkar party, which led to the concentration of power in the hands of the president, resulting in a long term government of 20 years for the first president Sukarno and 32 years for Suharto, a privilege that President Habibie, who hails from the Golkar party, had to relinquish through a legal change.
As a result, the Struggle Democrats PDI-P (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia-Perjuangan), led by Megawati, became the first party in the June 1999 general elections held under liberal party rule, and the Habibie government took it upon itself to end the era of one-party dictatorship by the Golkar Party. This led to the later move towards national sovereignty through constitutional amendments and direct presidential elections in 2004.
Gus Dur government October 1999 - July 2001
The general election, which was held in 1999 amidst the liberalization of party activities and the turbulence of many political parties, became a huge celebration throughout Indonesia. At the time, among Indonesians within the company, supporters of the PDI-P were in the majority, the logical intellectuals supported Amin Rice's National Trust Party PAN (Partai Amanat Nasional), and devout Muslims supported the National Awakening Party PKB (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa).
As a result of the election, the PDI-P was the first party, the Golkar Party was the second party, and the PKB was the third party, and the political dynamics worked in the coalition of the PDI-P and the PKB against the Golkar Party in the presidential nomination election within the National Council MPR (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat), which resulted in the birth of the fourth Indonesian president, Gus Dur, who was the chairman of Indonesia's largest Islamic organization, NU Nahdlatul Ulama, which reminded me of Prime Minister Murayama, who came into office in 1994 under the LDP-Socialist Party-PRESTO coalition government.
President Gus Duru, who was blinded by complications from diabetes and had a humorous, folksy way of speaking, but who was credited with bringing civilian control to Indonesia's politics and whose biggest challenge was how to separate the military, which had supported the foundation of political rule during the Suharto regime, from politics.
In the midst of the conflict with the national armed forces over the dismissal of Wilant, the former coordinating minister for political and security affairs and former commander of the national armed forces, his own corruption scandals eventually led to his removal from the presidency by the MPR in July 2001 and the elevation of Megawati, the vice president, to the presidency.
At that time, I resigned from the IT company in Jakarta, where I had worked for 3 and a half years, and established a furniture and sundries export company in Bali and started my own business.
Megawati government July 2001 - October 2004
Megawati was the eldest daughter of the first president Sukarno and the first wife of Fatmawati, and since Sukarno's mother was a Balinese, there was still a strong support base for the PDI-P led by Megawati in Bali, and there was a security myth that only Bali was safe and no terrorism had ever occurred even in the midst of political instability in Indonesia.
The myth of safety was broken in October 2002, when I had just started my own company as an exporter of furniture and sundries with a house and office in Denpasar.
During President Megawati's term in office, there have been three memorable terrorist attacks in Indonesia, where the percentage of Muslims is nearly 90 percent, and dealing with Islamic extremism was a sensitive issue that gave a false sense of one step and an image of Islamophobia, but with the Bali attacks in 2002, Indonesia has completely jumped on the bandwagon of the U.S. fight against terrorism.
- October 2002, in front of Sari club on Legian street, Restaurant RAJA, Kuta, Bali
- August 2003, JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta's Kuningan; second bombing in July 2009.
- September 2004 Australian Embassy in Kuningan, Jakarta
After the bombing in Kuta, the number of tourists decreased drastically in Bali and Legian Street was in a dull state.
In the course of Indonesia's political history since the departure of the Suharto regime, there are several important issues, but the Megawati government has put the final touches on the constitutional amendments that have lasted for three administrations since 1991; the highest authority of the state (wewenang) has been moved from the National Council MPR to the DPR, effectively separating the executive (eksekutif), the judiciary (yudikatif), and the legislature (legislatif) for the separation of powers; and establishing a tripartite separation of powers: the executive is the president, the judiciary is the Supreme Court MA (Mahkamah Agung), and the legislature is the National Assembly DPR.
- Liberal party activity
From a one-party dictatorship of the Golkar party to a multi-party democratic politicization.
- Civilian Control (Civilian Control)
Eliminate the influence of the national army from politics.
- Constitutional Amendment.
The establishment of national sovereignty and the separation of the three powers as a democratic nation.
- War on Terror
- Economic growth through poverty reduction and job growth
- The pursuit of corruption
My impression of the Megawati government is that its decisive response to terrorism, on the contrary, was seen as a conjecture against Western countries, especially the United States, and its important work as a democratic country to restore national sovereignty through constitutional reform was inevitably a practical achievement and did not stand out, and then the corruption that had been rampant during the dictatorship came to be pursued in a visible way through democratization.
In Indonesia's first direct presidential election by the people in 2004, former army general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (a.k.a. SBY) was elected the sixth president, defeating incumbent President Megawati, who was exactly the ideal person the people were looking for.
SBY (Yudhoyono) administration October 2004 - July 2009, July 2009 - October 2014
In Indonesia's first direct presidential election in 2004, Mr. Wiranto, who was commander of the National Army during the Suharto regime, was unable to dispel the strong-armed image of the National Army during the dictatorship, and the SBY of the Partai Demokrat (Democratic Party), which came up with a clean image strategy despite being from the same National Army, won strong public support.
In Indonesia, the long name "Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President," is not preferred, and simply using the abbreviation "S B Ye," without honorifics, gives a more affectionate atmosphere.
Mr. Wiranto played an important role in the political history of Indonesia when he told President Suharto in May 1998 to resign as a guarantee of security for the national army and removed Mr. Prabowo from the national army after the Jakarta riots and allegations of human rights violations by the national army under Habibie's regime. However, although he served as the coordinating minister for political and security affairs in the Gus Dur and Jokowi governments, I feel that he has not been able to ride the wave of Indonesian political history with his own allegations of human rights violations in the national army.
Although the SBY president was born, the Democratic Party, which is the parent party of the SBY, has only 57 seats out of 550, and the DPR would not have been able to function properly as a legislative body without the support of the Golkar Party, which is the political party of Vice President Yousuf Kara, but when the incumbent Akbar Tanjung, who had taken an anti-SBY stance in the Golkar Party's party leadership election, lost to Vice President Yousuf Kara, it quickly became a stable government with the support of Golkar Party lawmakers.
As he had served as coordinating minister for political security in the Gus Duru and Megawati administrations, there were high hopes for the prevention and eradication of terrorism and the calming down of the Gam Gerakan Ache Merdeka movement, which was seeking independence from Indonesia following the independence of East Timor in 2002, but in terms of the economy, the total unemployment rate did not decline as expected, infrastructure investment could not be increased due to a lack of revenue, the earthquake off Sumatra struck in December immediately after the inauguration of the president, and Indonesia's stock price plummeted and the economy stagnated under the influence of the 2008 Lehman Shock.
Personally, my business in Bali started to go downhill in 2005, and I quit the company and came back to Jakarta in 2008, and then I had a painful experience with the collapse of Indonesian stocks by the Lehman Shock.
President Jokowi, October 2014 - April 2019
And the 2014 presidential election was such a social phenomenon that Jokowi fever was on the rise, I was told every day by the company driver on the way to his customers how wonderful Mr. Jokowi was and how evil Mr. Prabowo was. I think it was a kind of mass hypnosis of the general public who were fascinated by the gap between Mr. Jokowi's image of an "ordinary uncle without selfishness" and his "pragmatist who actually shows strong leadership".
It's human nature to be attracted to the gap between "a little wild old man" and "a great body to take off your clothes".
While President Jokowi's image of integrity remains unchanged, it has been conspicuous by his lack of major achievements during his term so far, and Prabowo's insistence on a "Indonesia for Indonesians," which is easy for anyone to understand, in part overlaps with US President Trump's, and the April 2019 presidential election should be an election in which the people will be judged on the democratization achievements of Indonesia that have been building up over the past two decades.