The cabinet of Indonesia (Indonesian: Kabinet Republik Indonesia) is the council of ministers appointed by the president. Indonesia has seen dozens of cabinets since independence in 1945, although during the New Order most cabinets remained unchanged for five years at a time. Most cabinets are referred to by the names given them at the time of formation.
The concept of a cabinet is not mentioned explicitly in the 1945 Constitution, so Indonesia's cabinets since 14 November 1945 are the result of administrative convention. There have been two types of cabinet in Indonesian history; presidential and parliamentary. In presidential cabinets, the president is responsible for government policy as head of state and government, while in parliamentary cabinets, the cabinet carries out government policy, and is responsible to the legislature.
During the War of Independence from 1945-1949, the cabinet changed from a presidential to a parliamentary system, despite this not being the system intended by those who drew up the Constitution; however, at several critical periods, it reverted to a presidential system. During this period, the cabinet had between 16 and 37 ministers with 12-15 ministries.
On 27 December 1949, the Netherlands recognised the sovereignty of the United States of Indonesia (RIS). Under the Federal Constitution of 1949, the RIS had a parliamentary cabinet as ministers were responsible for government policy. With the return to the unitary state of Indonesia in August 1950, the parliamentary cabinet system remained due to an agreement between the governments of the RIS and the Republic of Indonesia (a constituent of the RIS). Article 83 of the Provisional Constitution of 1950 stated that ministers had full responsibility for government policy. Over the following nine years there were seven cabinets with between 18 and 25 members.
On 5 July 1959, President Sukarno issued a decree abrogating the 1950 Constitution and returning to the 1945 Constitution. The cabinet was also dissolved. A new presidential cabinet was formed shortly after and this system has continued to the present day. During the final years of Sukarno's presidency, cabinets were larger, peaking at 111 ministers.
During the New Order under President Suharto, cabinets were smaller, and from 1968 until 1998 lasted for the five-year presidential term. Following the fall of Suharto and the beginning of the Reformasi era, the presidential cabinet system has been retained.
Daniel Dhaidae & H. Witdarmono (Eds) (2000)Wajah Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Republic Indonesia Pemilihan Umum 1999 (Faces of the Republic of Indonesia People's Representative Council 1999 General Election) Harian Kompas, Jakarta, ISBN 979-9251-43-5