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Constitutional Amendment Will Not Modify other Articles: MPR Speaker

A proposed limited amendment to the 1945 State Constitution will not open a Pandora’s box by encroaching on other articles of the Constitution, Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR RI) Bambang Soesatyo has stressed.

“I have affirmed with President Joko Widodo, in regard to Article 37 of the Constitution regulating the amendment, the proposed amendment would be kept at a minimum with other articles not amended,” Soesatyo said in a written statement received by ANTARA in Jakarta on Saturday.

He made the assurance in response to concerns raised by members of the public that the proposed limited Constitutional amendment could open possibilities for changes in other parts of the Constitution, for instance, concerning the presidential term limit.

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President Joko Widodo has denied the amendment would extend the presidential term limits from two terms to three, he pointed out.

He also noted that Article 37 of the Constitution strictly regulates Constitutional amendments. Any amendment needs to be proposed in writing by at least one-third MPR members — equal to a minimum of 237 MPs — and elucidate the proposed changes to Constitutional articles, he explained.

“With such a strict requirement, I assure you there would not be any Constitutional amendment other than the proposed revival of the state policy guidelines (GBHN). Other improbable amendment proposals such as to extend presidential term limits would not be entertained as the MPR never considers such proposals,” Soesatyo emphasized.

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He confirmed that the proposed amendment would only change two articles in the Constitution — Article 3 to authorize the MPR to establish and amend the state policy guidelines and Article 23 to authorize the House of Representatives (DPR RI) to reject proposed state budgets if they conflict with the state policy guidelines.

“The amendment would be limited to the said two articles. No more articles would be amended,” Soesatyo assured. (drt)

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