Imperial Assembly of Majapahit
Dewan Kemaharajaan Majapahit (DKM)
First Grand Session
30 October 2015
Dr. Wira Adhitama, KSM MRL
Puan M. Damanik, PC
Council of Representatives
• [:] Imperial (102)
• [:] Movement (26)
• [:] Democratic (52)
• [:] Civil Labour (40)
Istana Dutabangsa, 17 Adidaya Street, Central Majakarta.
The Assembly and its membership is defined under Majapahit's constitution, and further specified in the 1946 Amendment of the document. Its leader, titled the Chairperson of the Assembly (Ketua Dewan), presides over the Assembly during its meetings. They have the ultimate responsibility of managing its staff and act as a liaison between the parliament and the monarch. In the absence of the chairman, a deputy chairperson shall temporarily replace them, usually from the opposition party or coalition. The incumbent chairman is Wira Adhitama of the Imperial Unity Party, while the deputy chairwoman is Puan Damanik of the Democratic Action Party.
History and Formation
Legislative power in Majapahit was traditionally vested in the Emperor himself, with occasional advice offered by the His Imperial Majesty's Privy Council. Secondary legislative power was entrusted in the Premier and the Cabinet, though with the Emperor's approval. The National Legislative Law enacted by Emperor Padma I in 1885 formally established the Empire's first legislative body. Soon after, with the Political Freedoms Law of 1886, many political parties were starting to be formed. This separation of power and opening of politics meant that Majapahit was on the correct path towards democratisation.
The Imperial Framework was drafted (and later ratified) by the Imperial Assembly in 1915 and approved by the Emperor amidst the ongoing crisis brought by the Great War (1914-18). This document was officially considered to be the first written constitution of Majapahit; previously, governance followed unwritten conventions already in place since antiquity. Some conventions were included as provisions within the Framework. Among many things, it further defined the existence and role of the Imperial Assembly in governance, as well as its relationship with the government and the Emperor. From then on, Majapahit was officially classified as a semi-constitutional monarchy.
See also: List of Political Parties in Majapahit
Presently, the XLIII (43rd) Assembly of Majapahit is composed of 260 assemblymen, serving their term until October 2020, when the next general election is scheduled to be held. From 220 members of the Council of Representatives, 128 are part of the government coalition consisting of the centre-right Imperial Unity Party and the right-wing Greater Majapahit Movement; the remaining 92 are part of the opposition coalition which consists of the centre-left National Solidarity-Democratic Action Party and the left-wing Civil Labour Union.
Structure and Functions
The Imperial Assembly is a bicameral legislature; it is divided into the Council of Lords (the upper house) and the Council of Representatives (lower house), both wielding similar powers. With exception of bills related to taxation or government spending, legislation may be introduced in either house. During grand sessions of parliament, the two councils make decisions as one Assembly as opposed to separate houses. These include:
New amendments to and/or revision of existing provisions in the Imperial Framework,
Declarations of war, treaties of peace, and alliances with other nations, and
Impeachment of the incumbent Premier if they've failed to maintain confidence of the Emperor or the Assembly.
The Council of Lords (Dewan Bangsawan) is comprised of 40 peers, a vestige of the past aristocratic system that once dominated Majapahiti politics before the move towards democracy. Its membership, formally appointed by the monarch, is drawn from the peerage, made up of 4 head clerics of Hindu-Buddhism, 4 deputies from the four branches of the Imperial Military and Imperial Police, and 32 hereditary peers from various noble houses all across the Empire. As such, they are non-partisan; not members of any political party. Besides drafting certain types of legislation, the Lords have the capacity to review and amend bills from the lower house, acting as a check independent from the electoral process. However, under political convention, the Council of Lords will not oppose legislation promised in the governing party/coalition's election manifesto.
The Council of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan), in contrast, is comprised of 220 members, all of which are directly elected by the people. Each member is elected to represent a constituency and hold their seat until the Assembly is dissolved. Even though bills may also be drafted by the Lords, bills of public importance are usually made by the Representatives. Under the Imperial Framework, certain types of bills originating in the Council of Representatives may be presented by the Premier to the Emperor for Imperial Assent without prior consent from the Council of Lords; a practice mirrored from the Westminster system in the United Kingdom. Hence, under these conditions, the Council of Representatives is often considered to be the more powerful house in parliament.
All members of the Assembly serve for five-year terms corresponding to the Premier's tenure as the head of government, after which the Representatives may run again in the general elections and the Lords may be re-appointed by the monarch into the same office.