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Indonesia Politics

Political System of Indonesia

1945 Independence is proclaimed

Towards the end of the war, the two currents (the legal and the illegal) merged and on 17 August 1945 declared Indonesia an "independent, united, sovereign, just and prosperous" republic. At the same time, a constitution was passed that gave the country's new president, Sukarno great power. The country was still largely an agricultural country. Only during World War I did industrial development begin, as the Netherlands had not been able to cover local consumption. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how IN can stand for Indonesia.

However, the Netherlands did not intend to abandon its fertile colony, and after a few months landed army forces. There followed 4 years of fighting - occasionally interrupted by negotiations. The colonial power sought to isolate the new republic - which had its core areas of Java and Sumatra - by creating a number of "states" in the surrounding areas where it itself had power. Ultimately, though, the Netherlands had to bow. The Dutch were probably supported politically by Britain, but the main importer of Indonesian tin, rubber and oil - the United States - took part in favor of the republic and put enormous pressure on the Netherlands.

The decisive reversal took place in 1948, when it came to a rupture between the PKI and the rest of the resistance movement after a PKI rebellion against the republic had been bloodied. The United States had an easier time recognizing the new republic without communist influence. Shortly before New Year 1950, the Netherlands was forced to recognize Indonesia as an independent state against Indonesia accepting a federative state form. The Republic of Indonesia was to be one of 16 “states” in a large Indonesian state society, the other 15 being ruled by Dutch puppets. At the same time, the federation was to enter into a confederation with the Netherlands. But when the Dutch troops had been withdrawn, the puppets had neither military nor popular support, so after a few months the Indonesian state of unity became a reality. The Confederacy never worked,

The new state was given a parliamentary form of stateaccording to Western European pattern. In the early years, government power lay with the western-oriented and "modernist" part of the elite that advocated technological development according to capitalist principles. In 1955, the first general elections were held. The four largest parties got roughly equal votes. These included the Nationalist Party (PNI), Masjumi ("modernist" Islamic, strongest outside Java), Nahdatul Ulama (traditionally Islamic, strongest in Java) and PKI. In the following years, the contradictions between them increased and made the merging of the new state particularly difficult. At Sumatra and Sulawesi (Celebes), there was strong dissatisfaction with the fact that Java dominated so strongly politically, although the country's economy was predominantly based on exports of raw materials from the other islands. In 1957-58, therefore, both of these islands revolted against the central government of Jakarta. The rebellion was struck down by military force. The Indonesian army had remained out of politics until then, but towards the end of the 1950s, military leaders began to assert themselves increasingly as an independent political force.

Political System of Indonesia PoliticsIndonesia's independence, along with the Indian and Pakistani, Egypt's nationalization of the Suez Canal and the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam, were all events that marked the Third World entering the world political scene. Sukarno took an active part in this development and was among the initiators of the 1955 summit in Bandung, where the foundation stone was laid for the Alliance Free Lands Movement.

At the same time, however, internal problems in the country increased. In 1959, Sukarno put parliamentaryism out of force and returned to the original constitution of 1945, which secured a strong presidential regime. The new form of state was called "controlled democracy". It was clearly authoritarian: Some parties were banned - i.a. Masjumi. Others had to find that tight boundaries were set for their business. First and foremost, they were to mobilize people in support of the president's policy. The military fully supported Sukarno in this development.

 

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