The Republic of Indonesia (Republik Indonesia) gained independence from the Netherlands on August 17, 1945 although a protracted battle of several years was necessary before the Netherlands finally relinquished their colony.
Indonesia has 30 provinces and 2 special administrative regions and 1 special administrative city : the capital Jakarta.
Indonesia has a parliamentary system that is slightly different from usual structures but one that fits the country's diversity very well.
Parliament is unicameral :
- Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR => House of Representatives) has 550 seats that come up for popular vote every 5 years.
Besides the DPR ,which is directly involved with national policy, there are 2 other parliamentary institutions that have specific constitutional obligations :
- Dewan Perwakilan Daerah (DPD => House of Regional Representatives) is concerned with issues affecting the individual regions. Members are elected by popular vote every 5 years.
- Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat (MPR => Peoples Consultative Assembly) consists of members of the DPR and DPD. The MPR is concerned with inauguration and impeachment procedures of the president and ammendments of the constitution. The MPR does not issue national policy.
Indonesia has an Executive President. The presidential elections are directly contested by popular vote every 5 years and separate from the parliamentary elections. The government is formed by the president and not by the party who won the most votes at the parliamentary elections.
Current President : Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who was elected into office in 2004 and re-elected in July 2009.
Current Vice President : Boediono.