MPR Says Some Authority Not Regulated Yet
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MPR Deputy Speaker Arsul Sani testifying as a Relevant Party on behalf of the MPR at the material judicial review hearing of Law No. 12 of 2011 on Lawmaking, Tuesday (8/15/2023). Photo by Humas MK/Fauzan.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) has several types of authority that have not been regulated in legal products, said Deputy Speaker Arsul Sani testifying as a Relevant Party on behalf of the MPR at the material judicial review hearing of the elucidation to Article 7 paragraph (1) letter b of Law No. 12 of 2011 on Lawmaking on Tuesday, August 15, 2023 in the plenary courtroom. The third hearing for case No. 66/PUU-XXI/2023 presented testimonies by the Government, the House of Representatives (DPR), as well as the MPR as a Relevant Party.

Arsul said the authority includes inaugurating the president/vice president-elect; inaugurating the vice president as president if the president passes away, resigns, is impeached, or can no longer exercise their duties in the office; select vice presidential candidates out of two candidates proposed by the president in the event of vacancy during the term.

“And the authority to select both the president and vice president if both pass away, resign, are impeached, or can no longer exercise their duties in the office simultaneously, out of two pairs of presidential and vice-presidential candidates endorsed by political parties or party coalitions whose candidates earned the highest and second highest number of votes in the previous election, until the end of the term,” he said in response to the petition by the Crescent Star Party (PBB).

He added that there were growing views on the legal products to exercise that authority. The MPR considers using a decision, decree, or action. He also said that there have been growing views on matters not regulated in the 1945 Constitution, such the fact that when both the president and vice president resign simultaneously, the minister of foreign affairs, the minister of home affairs, and the minister of defense—known as the triumvirate—will exercise the presidency.

“Is the legal status of the executor of the presidency requires a certain legal form or act, or if there is such during a vacancy of both the president and vice president. Constitutional issues that have occurred or could potentially occur develop along with the social dynamics. This requires collective attention and thought based on the 1945 Constitution,” Arsul said.

Not Highest State Institution

Meanwhile, House Commission III member Habiburokhman testified on behalf of the House that in order to find out more about the MPR decrees (“TAP MPR”), the Petitioner can read the theoretical framework and references of the academic paper of one of the transcripts of the discussion on the Bill No. 12 of 2011. He said that “TAP MPR” will no longer be issued since the MPR is no longer the highest state institution that exercises the people’s sovereignty, but is a forum that exists when the House and the DPRD (Regional Legislative Council) hold joint sessions.

“Since the four-stage amendment to the 1945 Constitution, the functions, duties, and position of the MPR has drastically changed. The MPR is no longer the highest state institution. It no longer select the president, make GBHN [(State Policy Guidelines)], nor does it ask the president for accountability at the end of the president’s term,” he said.

Habiburokhman said the amendment to the 1945 Constitution also equalized the MPR to other state institutions whose authority is regulated in the 1945 Constitution. This change was aimed to ensure checks and balances among state institutions so that they have good, harmonious relations with one another. The checks and balances concept also refers to the doctrine of separation of powers, which had developed in the world long before the 1945 Constitution was formulated.

Also read:

Constitutionality of MPR’s Authority Questioned 

Yusril Ihza Mahendra Revises Petition on Restriction over MPR’s Authority

At the preliminary hearing, the Petitioner—represented by chairman Yusril Ihza Mahendra and secretary-general Afriansyah Noor—asserted that with the amendment of articles regulating the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) in the 1945 Constitution, the removal of the elucidation as an integral part of the basic law, means there has been a fundamental change of the MPR as the only institution that exercises the sovereignty of the people and is the “highest state institution” and at the same time as the embodiment of “all Indonesian people.”

The Petitioner believes regulating MPR decrees has saved the state during at least three constitutional crises. First, the temporary MPRS issued a decree that prohibited Marxism and Leninism after the G30S (30 September Movement) of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) rebellion in 1965, after previously Supersemar-bearer General Soeharto dissolved the PKI on March 3, 1966. Second, the MPRS issued a beshickking stipulation to establish the Supersemar-bearer as the acting president of the Republic of Indonesia after President Soekarno was dismissed by the MPRS in 1967. Third, the MPR issued a decree regarding the president’s accountability through memoranda I and II that could dismiss the president. This provision made the impeachment of President Abdurrahman Wahid legal and constitutional. Fourth, the MPR issued Decree No. VII/MPR/1973 on absence of the president and/or vice president, which was used as to impeach President Soeharto and swear in President B.J. Habibie before the Chief Supreme Justice, when the MPR was unable to convene due to the monetary crisis of 1998. This decree made the resignation of President Suharto and the swearing-in of Vice President BJ Habibie as his successor legal and constitutional.

Author       : Utami Argawati
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR            : Andhini S.F.
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023 | 14:31 WIB 102
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