The discourse about the proposal to add the term of office for the president is heating up again. It is related to the plan for a limited amendment of the 1945 Constitution. The ongoing discourse is related to the changes in presidential terms. Some figures propose the president's term of office to be only one period for eight years and some also propose to be extended to 3 periods.
Based on the current rules, the president and vice president hold a five-year office and can be re-elected for one term. Thus, the president and vice president can serve a maximum of 10 years in two periods as stipulated in Article 7 of the 1945 Constitution. Actually, the proposal related to changes in the term of office of the president does not emerge for the first time. Previously, this matter also came up.
Inevitably, some people are now enthusiastically talking about the discourse which is rejected by several parties, especially political parties. Chairman of the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), Bambang Soesatyo said the president's tenure for two periods and the direct presidential election by the people are already appropriate.
The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the majority in parliament as well as the supporting party of President Joko Widodo assesses that the current presidential term is still ideal and it does not need changing.
Senior Golkar Party figure, Andi Mattalata said that the discourse of three periods for presidential tenure could lead to authoritarian rule. According to him; limiting the president's term as now is the main essence of reform and amendment.
The opposition party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) considers the discourse to be a dangerous proposal. The PKS said the decision to limit the president's term of office for two periods was obtained through the struggle in “bloody reform”. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Gerindra Faction at MPR, Ahmad Riza Patria said, the two terms of leadership are the ideal periods for presidential terms. He considers that the decision is final because it is regulated in the 1945 Constitution. Riza also said that the current presidential term of office does not need changing. Because it is in accordance with the spirit of reform; the power and authority must be limited.
The president's tenure of two periods, each for 5 years, is the outcome of the "bloody reforms" in 1998 to step down the Old Order government presided by Suharto who served as president for 32 years. Determination of the term of office of 2 periods also came through in-depth discussions. Currently, the system which has been agreed upon is the most ideal. Extending the term of office to 3 periods is likely to propose the return of Old Order system in which the president will tend to be authoritarian.