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Jakarta Post

Constitutional amendment sparks concerns over democratic setback

  • Ghina Ghaliya and Karina M. Tehusijarana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, October 6, 2019   /  12:17 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Hammer it home: Bambang Soesatyo (right) of the Golkar Party raises the gavel after being sworn in as the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker at the MPR complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta, on Thursday, while former MPR acting speakers Abdul Wahab Dalimunthe and Hillary Brigitta Lasut look on.(JP/Seto Wardhana)

  After a flurry of wheeling and dealing over the past week for leadership posts at the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), the long-running plan to amend the 1945 Constitution seems to be progressing with MPR speaker Bambang Soesatyo naming the members of a new commission to conduct a constitutional review.  But while lawmakers have insisted that the proposed amendments are only meant to reinstate the now-defunct State Policy Guidelines (GBHN), observers have raised concerns that they would pave the way for the return of New Order style politics, particularly the revival of indirect elections of the president.  Bambang, a Golkar Party lawmaker, said on Thursday the political leaders would soon determine the tasks and the work procedure of the constitutional review commission. Bambang said the commission would also look into the contents of the draft...