Decree of the President July 5, 1959


July 5, 2022

Presidential Decree Number 150 of 1959 concerning Return to the 1945 Constitution, or better known as the Presidential Decree of 5 July 1959, was a decree (legally a Presidential Decree) issued by the first President of Indonesia, Soekarno on 5 July 1959. Contents of the decree This was the dissolution of the Constituent Body as a result of the 1955 General Election and the replacement of the constitution from the 1950 Provisional Constitution to the '45 Constitution. Background The 1959 Presidential Decree was motivated by the failure of the Constituent Body to enact a new Constitution in lieu of the 1950 Constitution. The Constituent Assembly members began to convene on November 10, 1956, but in fact until 1958 had not succeeded in formulating the expected Constitution. Meanwhile, among the public, the opinions to return to the 1945 Constitution are getting stronger. In response to this, President Ir. Soekarno then delivered a message in front of the Constituent Assembly on April 22, 1959 which contained a recommendation to return to the 1945 Constitution. On 30 May 1959 the Constituent Assembly voted. The result was 269 votes in favor of the 1945 Constitution and 199 votes against. Even though there were more who agreed, this vote had to be repeated because the number of votes did not meet the quorum. A quorum is the minimum number of members that must be present at meetings, assemblies, etc. (usually more than half of the total number of members) in order to pass a decision. Voting was again held on June 1 and 2, 1959. From this vote the Constituent Assembly also failed to reach a quorum. To reduce traffic jams, on June 3, 1959 the Constituent Assembly held a recess (a period of stopping the parliamentary session; a period of rest from convening activities) which later turned out to be forever. To prevent unwanted things from happening, the Army Chief of Staff (KSAD) Lieutenant General A.H. Nasution, on behalf of the Government/Central War Authority (Peperpu), issued regulation No. Prt/Peperpu/040/1959 which prohibits political activities. On June 16, 1959, PNI General Chair Suwirjo sent a letter to the President to decree the re-enactment of the 1945 Constitution and dissolve the Constituent Assembly.

Issue of Presidential Decree 1959

The failure of the constituent assembly to carry out its duties and a series of political and security events that shook the unity and integrity of the nation reached its climax in June 1959. Finally, for the sake of the safety of the state based on the staatsnoodrecht (law of danger to the state) on Sunday, July 5 1959 at 17.00, President Soekarno issued a decree announced in an official ceremony at the Merdeka Palace. The following is the text of the Presidential Decree (spelling according to the original): DECREE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA / HIGHER COMMANDMENT OF THE ARMY ON BACK TO THE BASIC LAW 1945 By the grace of God Almighty, WE ARE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA / HIGHER COMMANDMENT OF THE ARMY Hereby declare with chidmat: Whereas the recommendation of the President and the Government to return to the 1945 Constitution which was conveyed to all the Indonesian people with the mandate of the President on 22 April 1959 did not obtain a decision from the Constituent Assembly as stipulated in the Provisional Constitution; Whereas in connection with the statement by most of the members of the Constitutional Assembly, they are no longer attending the session. It is no longer possible for the Constituent Assembly to complete the tasks entrusted to it by the people; That such a thing creates constitutional conditions that jeopardize the unity and safety of the State, Nusa and Nation, as well as hinder universal development in order to achieve a just and prosperous society; Whereas with the support of the majority of the Indonesian people and driven by our own convictions, we are compelled to take the only way to save the State of the Proclamation; That we believe that the Djakarta Charter of 22 June 1945 is the soul of the 1945 Constitution and is a