Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Administrative divisions of Indonesia

Administratively, Indonesia consists of 34 provinces, five of which have special status. Each province has its own legislature and governor. The provinces are subdivided into regencies (kabupaten) and cities (kota), which are further subdivided into districts (kecamatan), and again into village groupings (either desa or kelurahan). Furthermore, a village is divided into several citizen groups (Rukun-Warga (RW)) which are further divided into neighbourhood groups (Rukun-Tetangga (RT)). Following the implementation of regional autonomy measures in 2001, the regencies and cities have become the key administrative units, responsible for providing most government services. The village administration level is the most influential on a citizen's daily life and handles matters of a village or neighborhood through an elected lurah or kepala desa (village chief).
The provinces of Aceh, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Papua, and West Papua have greater legislative privileges and a higher degree of autonomy from the central government than the other provinces. The Acehnese government, for example, has the right to create certain elements of an independent legal system; in 2003, it instituted a form of Sharia (Islamic law). Yogyakarta was granted the status of Special Region in recognition of its pivotal role in supporting Indonesian Republicans during the Indonesian Revolution. Papua, formerly known as Irian Jaya, was granted special autonomy status in 2001 and was separated into Papua and West Papua in February 2003. Jakarta is the country's special capital region.