Nawacita unreliable – Need to bring back Broad Guidelines of State Policy

(photo: IO/Dan)

IO, Jakarta – In the final term of President Joko Widodo’s Government, there is a suggestion that Indonesia might need Guidelines of State Policies in order to ensure that development plans may still continue, despite any change of presidents or regional heads Politik Kedai Kopi (Coffee Shop Politics) Analyst Hendri Satrio questions this hot issue. “Why now? Why not from the start of Jokowi’s rule? Is this the Legislative’s acknowledgment that the Nawacita, the Nine Aspirations set out by Jokowi, cannot be implemented, necessitating the return of the Broad Guidelines of the State’s Policies (Garis-garis Besar Haluan Negara – “GBHN”)?” he asks.

Hendri stated that it might be necessary, even though the National Medium-term Development Plan (Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Menengah Nasional – “RPJMN”), which is the detailed implementa­tion of the President-Elect’s vision and mission that are considered to be automatically approved by the people and do not require reviews, exists. The cause of concern for many is that the fifth amendment of the Constitution of 1945, which can only be made by the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat – “MPR”), might give rise to changes in other articles in the Constitution of 1945.

In response, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “PDIP”) politician Ahmad Basarah confirms that both the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”) and MPR in the second term have agreed that the State should have Broad Policy Guidelines like GBHN of the New Order. Even the President and other State agencies agree. This unanimous agreement was announced in the MPR Plenary Meeting. Basrah thinks that new Policy Guidelines to replace GBHN because MPR notes that national development plans are changed every time leadership changes, whether in the center, in the provinces, regencies, or municipalities. However, in the latest amendment to Constitution of 1945, MPR’s authority to amend the Constitution and the GBHN has been revoked.

“We need to reiterate our desire to have again Policy Guidelines that allow the MPR to have restricted authority to amend the Constitution. In other words, we are only returning MPR’s authority to amend parts of the Constitution UUD, such as Article 3 Paragraph 1, without changing anything about Article 6 Paragraph 1 and Article 7 Paragraphs 1 and 2 concerning the Election and Termination of Presidents. Therefore, it is clear that amendments to the Constitution would not allow MPR to elect presidents, but the people will continue to elect them. Furthermore, there will be no presidential impeachment by MPR in the middle of their term,” Ahmad said.

Ahmad further reiterates that Policy Guidelines are necessary to generate continuation and synchronization between the Governments in the center, provinces, regencies, and municipalities. “This is because national development plans are based on the visions and missions of current elected presidents, governor, regents, and mayor, so that they are not connected with each other, let alone connection and continuation between the Center and the regions, development programs between mayors can conflict with each other. This is something we all need to correct,” he said.

However, in terms of the unreliability of Nawacita being the reason behind the necessity of Policy Guidelines, Ahmad stated that the Nawacita is President Jokowi’s plan. “Therefore, there is no obligation for the next president elect to continue any program created by the previous president. For example, the plan to move the State’s capital to Kalimantan might not be realized if the president elect in 2024 is not someone from PDIP and therefore thinks that the Capital does not need to be moved,” he said.

Similarly to Basarah, Prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera – “PKS”) politician Nasir Djamil stated that it would be hard to continue the development plans of successive governments if the Elections Law No. 17 of 2007 only stated that a president should create continuation plans of their programs for the next president, without any ruling and sanction that the new president must continue the previous development plan other than making their own. “Therefore, we of PKS want it to be reviewed thoroughly. Any changes, no matter the slightest, in the remaining articles might change the fundamentals. Therefore, we need to find alternatives,” he said.

Basarah stated that even if the Constitution is amended, MPR must still explain to the citizens the background, motivation, implications, and positions of the Indonesian citizen in the amendment. “Continued development is not easy work, even though it is already delineated. Therefore, we need to check the state administrative and political aspects in both their broad and narrow meanings. We don’t want people to question whether this amendment will restrict the authority of the President of RI in a much bigger way than any restrictions placed even on the American president,” he said. (Dan)