President Sukarno's 1959 Decree

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President Sukarno, partly obscured, at top of steps, reading the decree

The Presidential Decree of 5 July 1959 was issued by President Sukarno in the face of the inability of the Constitutional Assembly of Indonesia to achieve the two-thirds majority to reimpose the 1945 Constitution. It was army chief of staff Abdul Haris Nasution who concluded that this would be the only way to bring about the reintroduction of a constitution that paved the way for the military to play a greater role in the running of the state.

The decree, which was read by Sukarno at the Merdeka Palace reads as follows:

DECREE

With the Mercy of Almighty God WE THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA/SUPREME COMMANDER OF THE ARMED FORCES

Hereby declare with respect:
That the proposal of the President and Government to return to the 1945 Constitution as conveyed to the entire Indonesian people with the mandate of the President dated 22 April 1959 did not result in a decision from the Constitutional Assembly as stipulated by the Provisional Constitution;
That with the declaration of the majority of the members of the Session to Produce a Constitution to no longer attend sessions, it is no longer possible for the Constitutional Assembly to complete the task entrusted to it by the people;
That this has resulted in a situation that endangers the unity and security of the Nation, Land and People, as well as hampering overall development toward a just and prosperous society;
That with the support of the majority of the Indonesian people and urged on by our own certainty, we are forced to follow the only path to save the Proclaimed Nation:
That we are certain that the Jakarta Charter dated 22 July 1945 inspires the 1945 Constitution and is part of the chain of unity with the aforementioned Constitution.
Therefore, based on the above,

WE THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA/SUPREME COMMANDER OF THE ARMED FORCES

Resolve the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly
Resolve that the 1945 Constitution is once again in force for the entire Indonesian people and the entire Indonesian nation, as from the date of this decree and that the Provisional Constitution is no longer in force.
Establish a Provisional People's Consultative Assembly, which is made up of the members of the House of Representatives with the delegates from the regions and groups, with the establishment of a Provisional Supreme Advisory Council to be organized as speedily as possible.

Resolved in Jakarta
on 5 July 1959

In the name of the People of Indonesia

President of the Republic of Indonesia/Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces

SOEKARNO

References

  • Riklefs (1982), A History of Modern Indonesia, Macmillan Southeast Asian reprint, ISBN 0-333-24380-3
  • Sekretariat Negara Republik Indonesia (1975) 30 Tahun Indonesia Merdeka: Jilid 2 (1950–1964) (30 Years of Indonesian Independence: Volume 2 (1950–1964)