Indonesia's Democratic Transition: Playing by the Rules
Examines an exceptional factor in Indonesia's post‐Suharto democratization, namely the elite's use of the 1945 Constitution, and reviews the earlier skill, of both President Soekarno and President Suharto, in using it to structure and legitimize their authoritarian regimes. The positive role played by the 1945 Constitution in Indonesia's democratic transition is an extraordinary irony of history, a striking instance of the way in which authoritarian institutions and ideologies can be turned against politicians who have spent decades fashioning them as instruments of autocratic power. However, in a further irony, it now looms as a major obstacle to democratic consolidation, as the new leadership prepares to undertake its substantial dismantlement and virtual replacement.
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