The discourse of increasing the presidential term through constitutional amendments is a nonsense and historical idea. The bitter experience under the old and new order regimes was more than enough not to play around with this kind of discourse.
The basic principle is that power must be limited and monitored because power has a tendency to deviate. Oversight and restrictions are fixed prices if we do not want to enter into the same hole in the “authoritarian regime” of the past.
President Jokowi has explained the matter of his political stance and position in a clear and honest manner that he strongly rejects this idea, the 3-period presidential discourse, he seems unhappy with the elite who are looking for a face. I think that Pak Jokowi’s political position is right, his political stance openly rejects the discourse of adding a presidential term. Even he will reject the fifth amendment because it has the potential to seep into other articles that do not reflect the nation’s identity as a democratic nation such as presidential elections via the MPR, the addition of presidential terms and so on.
It is natural that Mr. Jokowi is slightly inflamed, because Mr. Jokowi is most disadvantaged by the emergence of this discourse. It is not enough for the president to just issue an official statement, but also to consolidate political power under a coalition government. If not, the president’s attitude will tend to be considered inconsistent and save certain motives.
The idea of increasing the term of office of the president has no urgency at all, this proposal is an attempt to “seek face” from supporters in the president’s inner circle to seek attention. But on the other hand the act of this politician “looking for attention” has slapped his face and humiliated President Jokowi.
Therefore, this kind of idea must be immediately disqualified from public discourse and discussion to enter into constitutional amendments. If such inconsequential ideas are left noisy on the public stage, it is possible that constitutional amendments will run wild and out of control and are very dangerous because they target other sensitive issues. Thus, if the fifth amendment has more disadvantages, we agree with Mr. Jokowi, it is better not to continue the amendment discourse.
Pangi Syarwi Chaniago
Political Analyst and Executive Director of the Voxpol Center Research and Consulting