When the 1945 Constitution was used as a tool of power

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By: Eko Prasetyo (Alm.)

When Karno stepped down from the national leadership (1967), among the people of the 1945 Constitution was felt to have been used as a tool to perpetuate power. The 1945 Constitution is no longer the basis of the state living law imbued by the Opening of the 1945 Constitution and Pancasila but only used as a set of articles that are understood unilaterally based on the interests of power.

This may make the public less concerned and not wary when amendments to the 1945 Constitution are made.

The 1945 Constitution was passed by the Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Independence (PPKI) on August 18, 1945. Naskan 1945 Constitution is taken from the contents of the Jakarta Charter after omitting the 7-word sentence “by practicing Islamic sharia for its adherents” in the fourth paragraph.

In the period 1945-1949, the 1945 Constitution could not be fully implemented because Indonesia was preoccupied with the struggle to maintain independence. Maklimat Vice President Number X on October 16, 1945 decided that the Central Indonesian National Committee (KNIP) held legislative power, because the MPR and dpr had not yet been formed. On November 14, 1945, the first Parliamentary Cabinet was formed, so this event was a deviation of the 1945 Constitution that adhered to the Presidential system. On December 27, 1949, Indonesia established the Constitution of the United States of Indonesia (RIS). Then on August 17, 1950 Indonesia enacted the Provisional Constitution of 1950.

Because of the political situation at the 1959 constituent assembly where there was a mutual tug of interest of political parties so as to fail to implement the new Constitution, then on July 5, 1949, the President issued a Presidential Decree which one of the contents re-enacted the 1945 Constitution as the basic law, replacing the Provisional Constitution of 1950. The decree was confirmed by acclamation by the DPR-GR on July 22, 1959.

Constitution of 2002

The 1945 Constitution in the period 1999-2002 the 1945 Constitution underwent four amendments . The first amendment was made at the 1999 MPR General Assembly, the 2000 MPR General Assembly, the 2001 MPR General Assembly and the 2002 General Assembly. Changes made to the 1945 Constitution have damaged the legal order that has been drafted by the founders of the nation.

The current constitution should not be referred to as the 1945 Constitution anymore, but the 2002 Constitution because a number of changes have removed many basic substances from the basis of this legislation. But apparently these lawmakers don’t want to admit it.

Some legal experts questioned the amendment. He said the 1945 amendment had been amended.

A number of fundamental changes that occur such as, currently the Indonesian nation no longer has the Outlines of the State Direction (GBHN) which is the direction of development; changes in the structure of statehood and political system (e.g., changes in the position and function of the MPR; The President is directly elected, whereas in precept 4 Pancasila is represented democracy through representative consultative; and others), economic and socio-cultural towards liberalism and capitalism that are increasingly far from the ideals of the nation’s education.

Thus the 1945 Constitution that has been amended it actually becomes incompatible, even contrary to Pancasila.

So it is not an exaggeration if the existing Constitution can be referred to as the 2002 Constitution (not the 1945 Constitution). Should all the public, especially the lawmakers realize the name of the basic law so that it regulates the main things. So that other rules relating to detailed matters can be regulated in the law under it.

Demands for Reform

If the spirit of various changes that exist today is the demand for reform, then keep in mind that none of the reform demands expect changes to the 1945 Constitution. One of the warmest issues after the reform was the president’s term.

Apparently in the course of his journey, this issue was directed at the amendment of article 7 of the 1945 Constitution. In this article it is mentioned that the presidential term is for five years and thereafter can be re-elected. The word “afterwards” can be interpreted as a first term.

But apparently the article has given birth to a single interpretation that the president can be elected many times. Whereas the editorial of this article does not read “The President and Vice President hold five-year positions and can be re-elected every period of presidential and vice presidential elections”. Apparently the misinterpretation of the 1945 Constitution made the members of the legislature at that time even “blame” the 1945 Constitution so that it had to change the 1945 Constitution which was prepared with earnestness and quality debate conducted by the founders of this nation.

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