Political Development During Liberal Democracy and Guided Democracy
a. The Political Situation of the Liberal Democracy Period
After returning to being a unitary state, Indonesia adopted a Liberal Democracy system (1950–1959) with a parliamentary government. In this system, the government is led by the prime minister. The President was the head of state in political developments during the liberal democracy and guided democracy era.
The political system during the Liberal Democracy era encouraged the development of political parties because the Liberal Democracy system adopted a multiparty system. The existence of many political parties taking part in the government in Indonesia has led to the emergence of competition between parties. The strongest parties took over power which resulted in frequent cabinet changes. During this Liberal Democracy era, there were seven cabinet changes. The average Cabinet term is only one year old. The cabinets are as follows.
1). Natsir Cabinet (September 1950 – March 1951).
2). Suliman Cabinet (April 1951 – February 1952).
3). Wilco Cabinet (April 1952 – June 1953).
4). Ali Sastroamidjojo I Cabinet (July 1953 – July 1955).
5). Burhanuddin Harahap Cabinet (August 1955-March 1956)
6). Ali Sastroamidjojo Cabinet II (March 1956 – March 1957).
7). Djuanda Cabinet (March 1957 – July 1959)
Despite many cabinet changes, the government during the Liberal Democracy era managed to hold general elections (elections) for the first time in Indonesia. This first election was held in 1955.
b. The Political Situation of the Guided Democracy
The change of cabinet in a short time made the political situation unstable and endangered the continuity of the government of the Republic of Indonesia. To overcome these problems, the idea emerged to implement the Guided Democracy model of government by returning to the 1945 Constitution from the political developments in the era of liberal democracy and guided democracy.
The Guided Democracy Government aims to restructure the political life and unstable government during the Liberal Democracy based on the 1945 Constitution. However, in its development, during the Guided Democracy era, there were violations of the 1945 Constitution and the government tended to be centralized because it was focused on the President only. These conditions made the President’s position very strong and powerful. The forms of violations against the 1945 Constitution during the Guided Democracy include the following.
1). The procedure for establishing the Provisional People’s Consultative Assembly (MPRS) because MPRS members are appointed by the President, should be elected through elections.
2). The procedure for establishing the Provisional Supreme Advisory Council (DPAS), because this institution has members appointed by the President and chaired by the President. In fact, the task of the DPAS is to provide answers to the president’s questions and provide suggestions to the government.
3). The procedure for establishing the Mutual Cooperation Council (DPRGR), because DPRGR members were appointed by the President and the DPR, the results of the 1955 election were disbanded by the President. In fact, the position of the DPR and the president is balanced. The President cannot dissolve the DPR, on the other hand, the DPR cannot dismiss the President.
4). Determination of the political manifesto of the Republic of Indonesia as the outline of the country’s direction. The gain should have been prepared and determined by the MPR.
5). Lifetime appointment of the president.
The government system during the Guided Democracy allowed the PKI to strengthen its position in all fields. After its strong position, PKI staged a rebellion known as G30S / PKI. This rebellion was successfully thwarted. However, since the failure of the G30S / PKI in 1965 to early 1966, the government did not immediately implement the people’s settlement because it was against the sense of justice. At the same time, Indonesia is facing an economic situation that continues to deteriorate, resulting in the prices of staple goods soaring.
The G30S / PKI incident and soaring prices of basic goods triggered demonstrations and chaos in various places. To restore state security, the President issued an order to Lieutenant General Soeharto to take all necessary actions to restore security and government authority. The letter was known as the Eleventh March Order (Supersemar).