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The 1945 Constitution

The Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia is usually referred to as the 1945 Constitution. This is partly because the constitution was drafted and adopted in 1945 when the Republic was established, and partly to distinguish it from two other constitutions, which were introduced in free Indonesia. Furthermore, the articles of the 1945 Constitution spell out the ideals and the goals for which independence was proclaimed on August 17, 1945, and defended thereafter. It reflects the spirit, and vigor of the time when the constitution was shaped. It was inspired by the urge for unity and for the common goals and democracy built upon the age-old Indonesian concepts of gotong royong (mutual assistance), deliberations of representatives (musyawarah) and consensus (mufakat). Preceded by a preamble, the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia consists of 37 articles, four transitional clauses and two additional provisions. The preamble is composed of four paragraphs and includes a condemnation of any form of colonialism in the world, a reference to Indonesia's struggle for independence, a declaration of independence and a statement of fundamental goals and principles. It further states, inter alia, that Indonesia's national independence shall be established in the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia with sovereignty vested in the people. The State shall be based upon the following philosophical principles: Belief in the One and Only God, just and civilized humanity, the unity of Indonesia, democracy guided by the inner wisdom of deliberations of representatives, and social justice for all the Indonesian people. Guided by these fundamental principles, the basic aims of the state are to establish an Indonesian Government which shall protect all the Indonesian people and their entire motherland, advance the public welfare, develop the intellectual life of the nation, and contribute towards the establishment of a world order based on freedom, peace and social justice.

Proklamasi: Sukarno at the microphone on August 17, 1945.

 
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