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INDONESIA POLITICAL SYSTEM

Being the country that contains the largest Muslim population in the world, Islamic
principles do play an important role in the nation's political decision making, but
Indonesia is not a Muslim or Islamic state.

Political decentralization in the post-Suharto era has brought more power to the regional
governments and this development implied that regional decision-making has become
more affected by the regional religious context. In strict Muslim areas, implemented
policies can include the regional banning of pork businesses or the obligation for women
to wear the headscarf, while in Christian regions (located mostly in eastern Indonesia)
such policies seem impossible to be implemented.

However, given the nation's clear Muslim majority and the dominance of (Muslim) Java
in national politics, Indonesia - as a whole - is far more Islam oriented. To have a
president that is non-Muslim, therefore, seems impossible. On the other hand,
Indonesian Islam can generally be labelled 'moderate' as the majority of Indonesian
Muslims consist of nominal Muslims. For example, the majority of the Indonesian
Muslim community will not agree with the implementation of Islamic law (Sharia).
Another example is that when Megawati Soekarnoputri became the first female
Indonesian president in 2001, only a small minority rejected her based on certain
Islamic doctrine that women cannot take leading positions.

The Indonesian political system consists of three branches:

• Executive branch of Indonesia

The executive branch consists of the president, the vice president and the cabinet. Both
the president and vice president are chosen by the Indonesian electorate through
presidential elections. They serve for a term of five years that can be extended once by
another term of five years when re-elected by the people. During these elections the
president and vice president run as a fixed, inseparable pair, which implies that the
composition of this pair is of great political strategic importance. Important matters that
are of influence include ethnic (and religious) background and (previous) social position
in Indonesian society.

In terms of ethnicity and religion, a Javanese Muslim will enjoy more popular support as
the majority of the Indonesian people consist of Javanese Muslims. In lower political
positions (and depending on the regional religious context) political leaders that are
non-Muslim are possible (for example, the current Governor of Jakarta is Chinese-
Christian Basuki Cahaya Purnama).

laws and matters that are related to the regions. politician and Muslim from Sulawesi). The MPR is a bicameral parliament that consists of the People’s Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat. the new president appoints a cabinet that usually consists of members from his own party. abbreviated MPR). Widodo was basically a newcomer to national politics at the start of 2014 but Kalla's long-standing experience in politics gave the pair more political credibility. abbreviated DPR) and the Regional Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah. Despite Indonesia's authoritarian past under Suharto. thus increasing regional representation at the national level. consisting of 560 members. Suharto's old political vehicle) and enjoys widespread popularity in Indonesia (especially outside the island of Java). After election. Meanwhile. Remarkably. These categories include (retired) army generals. former president Yudhoyono (himself a retired army general and a Muslim) chose Boediono (a Javanese Muslim technocrat) as vice president in his presidential campaign of 2009. to optimize chances of winning the election the president and vice president usually come from different social categories in order to grasp a larger share of the popular vote. To see Indonesia's current cabinet composition. It is elected for a five-year term through proportional representation based on general elections. produces the annual budget in cooperation with the president and oversees the general performance of political affairs. it raised people's trust in the pair.With regard to (previous) social position in society there are a few categories that all enjoy popular support from part of the people. current president Joko Widodo (a Javanese Muslim and former businessman) chose to pair with Jusuf Kalla (a businessman. Legislative branch of Indonesia Indonesia's legislative branch is the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat. The DPD deals with bills. Therefore. abbreviated DPD). It has the power to set or change the Constitution and appoints (or impeaches) the president. army generals who run for president can still count on much popular support in present Indonesia as they are considered being strong leaders. gohere. Kalla has a long history in Indonesian politics (particularly in the Golkar party. The DPR. Every Indonesian province . this DPR is notorious due to the frequent occurrences of corruption scandals among its members. technocrats and leading Muslim scholars. draws up and passes laws. businessmen. For example. the coalition partners and non-partisan technocrats. As Boediono is an experienced economist.

It is the final court of appeal and also deals with disputes between lower courts. However. . There are frequent reports claiming that Indonesia's judiciary institutions are not free from corruption and are not fully independent from the other political branches. is the Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi). A relatively new court. As Indonesia contains 33 provinces. religious courts and military courts. which monitors whether decisions made by the cabinet and parliament (MPR) are in line with the Indonesian Constitution. administrative courts. established in 2003. dignity and behaviour of Indonesian judges. the DPD consists of a total of 132 members. A Judicial Commission (Komisi Yudisial) oversees the maintenance of honour. most of the legal cases in Indonesia are handled by the public courts. Judicial branch of Indonesia The highest court in Indonesia's judiciary system is the independent Supreme Court (Mahkamah Agung).elects four members to the DPD (who serve for a five-year term) on non-partisan basis.