Civis 004/2016

I. Introduction


Starting from the implementation of democratic elections in 1999, the reformation has lasted for more than 17 years now. Indonesia is now recognized as the third largest democratic country in the world after India and the United States.

Democracy in Indonesia is not merely a statement and pseudo-symbolic, but is in fact a constitutional requirement and practiced in reality. The 1945 Constitution as the supreme legal basis was successfully reformed through 4 stages of amendments from 1999 to 2002.

The main principles of a democratic constitution, such as people sovereignty, checks and balances, the rule of law and the recognition of human rights (rule of law), the circulation leadership in a fair, accountable and periodically were established in the constitution.

Meanwhile, the main principles of the nation’s existence and ideology of Indonesia, Pancasila and the Preamble as well as the form of the unitary state of Indonesia, are firmly retained.

Thus, essentially, the 1945 Amendment is how the path to reach the ideals of the Proclamation of August 14, 1945 is reformed and democratised. But after 17 years, there are still many weaknesses and challenges that must be overcome so that the ideals of the Proclamation, a just and prosperous society, can be realized.

Applying democracy to the institutions and its process needs to be built and consolidated so that realizing the goals and ideals can be successfully achieved and to avoid disappointment which would lead to the desire to take a non-democratic authoritarian way. (continued in Part 2)


(This paper was presented by the writer in the Strategic Forum of Church and Politics, in Jakarta, April 7-9, 2016)


Jakob Tobing, MPA. President of Leimena Institute; Program Doctorate – Van Vollenhoven Institute, Rechtshogeschool, Universiteit Leiden; Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Republic of Korea (2004-2008); Chairman of the People’s Consultative Assembly’s Ad-Hoc Committee I for the amendment of the 1945 Constitution (1999-2002); member of the General Election Committee (KPU, 1999-2002); Chairman of Indonesia’s National Election Committee (PPI, 1999); Vice Chairman of National Election Monitoring Committee (Panwaslu, 1992); and member of Parliament (1968-1997, 1999-2004).