Jakarta – People's Consultative Assembly Speaker Bambang Soesatyo has made assurances to the public that the constitutional articles on the presidential election will remain untouched as plans to amend the 1945 Constitution remain firmly in place.
Bambang said the president and the vice president would still be elected by the people, unlike in the New Order regime when the assembly was directly responsible for the election.
"There will be no changes to the articles," Bambang said as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday.
During a meeting held to discuss preparations for the upcoming presidential inauguration, the assembly also discussed the plan to amend the 1945 Constitution. Bambang stated that, thus far, the discussions always maintained that the amendment would help restore the nation's values.
"The president will be elected by the people and will not report to the assembly. That won't change," Bambang said. He also promised to consult the public before amending the Constitution.
However, a copy of the assembly's previous recommendation for the amendment shows that it suggested reviving the now-defunct State Policy Guidelines (GBHN), restructuring its authority, the Regional Representative Council's authority, the presidential system, judicial authority, the legal system and legislation based on the state ideology Pancasila.
In August, Bambang, then the House of Representatives speaker, suggested that the assembly should be in charge of electing the president during a discussion at Ashley Hotel, Central Jakarta. Nevertheless, the public rejected his suggestion, including President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo himself.
"I was elected by the people. Why would I support having the assembly elect the president?" Jokowi said on Wednesday. (dpk)