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Published on Jun 3, 2012
Ali Sastroamidjojo, (EYD: Ali Sastroamijoyo) was the 8th and 10th Prime Minister of Indonesia. He was born in Grabag, Central Java on May 21, 1903 and died in Jakarta, March 13, 1976.
Indonesia had the position of Prime Minister (Indonesian: Perdana Menteri Republik Indonesia) from 1945 until 1966. During this period, the Prime Minister was in charge of the Cabinet of Indonesia, one of the three branches of government along with the Central Indonesian National Committee and the President. Following his 1959 decree, President Sukarno assumed the role and powers of Prime Minister until his resignation in 1966.
The 1945 Constitution of Indonesia states that Indonesia is built around a presidential system; as such, there were no constitutional provisions for a Prime Minister. Nevertheless, beginning in 1945 a Prime Minister was chosen to head the Cabinet. The position of Prime Minister was subsequently guaranteed by Article 52 of the Provisional Constitution of 1950.
The Prime Minister, chosen by the President, was tasked with handling routine government business and being in charge of the Cabinet, responsible to the President and Vice President.
In practice, the Prime Minister was responsible to the Working Body of the Central Indonesian National Committee (Indonesian: Komite Nasional Indonesia Pusat, or KNIP) and had to consult the President before making any major decisions. If the Prime Minister came into conflict with the KNIP or President, another could be chosen.
Due to the instability of the coalition Cabinets, Prime Ministers often faced votes of no confidence. Every major policy change had a chance to be opposed, either by the government or opposition. As such, some Cabinets lasted only a few months.
On 5 July 1959, Sukarno issued a Presidential Decree declaring that, due to the inability of the KNIP to reach a two-thirds majority, the 1945 Constitution would be reinstated; this removed the constitutional foundation for the office of Prime Minister. However, on 9 July of that same year, Sukarno took on the title of Prime Minister in addition to the Presidency; later using the phrase "I am President and Prime Minister" as a dominant message in his speeches. After the abortive coup against the government in 1965 and the release of a document transferring all political power to Suharto, Sukarno lost the title of Prime Minister together with the Presidency.