In Indonesia, 16 October each year is commemorated as the day of parliament, marking the importance of a representative body that accommodates the aspirations of its people.

The legislative body or the parliament is implemented by a government with a parliamentary system. In this system, the executive is constitutionally responsible to the parliament. This can be compared to a presidential system in which the legislative body cannot elect or dismiss the head of government and the executive cannot dissolve the parliament. In Indonesia, the parliament is known as the House of Representatives or DPR.

In the Dutch colonial era, Indonesia was familiar with the term ‘Volksraad’ or the people's council, a representative institution of Dutch formation that accommodates the aspirations of Indonesian society in the colonial system. Then in the period of transition between the Dutch colonial period and the Japanese occupation, in Indonesia there was also a body which was the embryo of the existence of the DPR of the Republic of Indonesia, the Working Body of the Central Indonesian National Committee -BP KNIP.

The body led by Muhammad Hatta and Sutan Sjahrir was that the Indonesian people began to realize the importance of an institution that limited the power of the president not to be absolute. Through a declaration No. 10/October 16, 1945, Sjahrir's cabinet was born, which was directly led by Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir. Then, Indonesia began to use the parliamentary system.

The Indonesian parliamentary system is often referred to as tri-cameral or three rooms namely DPR, DPD and MPR. But some said that the Indonesian parliamentary system is actually a bi-cameral one or two rooms, especially when it was related to the main task of parliament as the legislator. The People’s Consultative Assembly or MPR could not be called a separate room. In addition, its existence was as if only incidental, meaning that the MPR existed at certain moments only, such as when there was a joint session with the DPR and the DPD.

The Indonesian parliament in the current reform era has problems to overcome. It represents a large nation with a population of more than 260 million people. This is certainly not easy, especially as a country consisting of a group of islands or archipelago separated by the sea. The parliament has a very hard duty to maintain unity within the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia -NKRI. The important role of parliament is expected to unify this plural nation within the framework of NKRI. Through the parliament or the DPR, the people of Indonesia submit and communicate their aspirations.

All members of the Indonesian parliament –DPR must have high integrity to maintain Indonesia unity. They have to avoid committing bad deeds such as corruption, open quarrel or other inappropriate acts. All members of the DPR have a great responsibility to their constituents or voters who entrust them. As a result, they must fight for the future of a better nation.


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