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Jakarta Post

PDI-P tells Jokowi not to get 'emotional' over constitutional amendment

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, December 7, 2019   /   03:11 pm
PDI-P tells Jokowi not to get 'emotional' over constitutional amendment President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (left) arrives with Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chair Megawati Soekarnoputri (second left) in Bali for a party meeting on Feb. 23, 2018. (JP/Zul Trio Anggono)

The ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle has addressed President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo's disapproval of the party’s plan to amend the Constitution at the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR).

PDI-P executive Ahmad Basarah, who is also the MPR deputy speaker, said on Friday that Jokowi might turn down the plan because he lacked a complete understanding of the amendment,

"Actually, Pak Jokowi does not have to make emotional statements in responding to the limited amendment plan of the 1945 Constitution, which focuses only on reinstating the State Policy Guidelines [GBHN],” he said.

He also criticized State Secretary Pratikno for not properly explaining the plan to the President.

Ahmad said Pratikno never invited assembly leaders to the State Palace to explain the amendment to Jokowi or at the PDI-P faction at the House of Representatives.

Jokowi has on several occasions indicated disapproval of the constitutional amendment. In August, he said he considered the GBHN unnecessary, highlighting that his presidency was a product of direct elections.

Through the reinstatement of the GBHN, the MPR would have the power to decide whether the President’s policies are in line with the policy guidelines.

On Monday, Jokowi objected to the plan more explicitly, saying, “It would be better if there was no amendment. Let us concentrate on external pressures that are difficult to handle.”

He also opposed the idea that a president should stay in office for three terms.

“This has three [possible meanings] for me. One, they want to slap my face; two, they are sycophants; or three, they just want to ensnare me,” Jokowi said.

The NasDem party, another member of Jokowi’s coalition, is a party that has raised the idea of increasing the presidential term limit, while the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), also a member of the coalition, suggested that the Constitution should allow presidents to be elected only once, but serve for seven years.