When Sukarno and Suharto were presidents of Indonesia, they did many things that changed their country. Some of these things were bad and others were good. There were similarities and differences in the way that they ruled.
The first similarity between Sukarno and Suharto was that neither of them was elected to be president, they were both appointed. On August 17, 1945 just after the Japanese surrender Sukarno proclaimed Indonesia’s independence. He was then appointed to be the countries first president. He then led the new republic of Indonesia in their fight against the Dutch, who had reinstated themselves as the power in Indonesia. When the Dutch formally surrended their power over to Indonesia in 1949, Sukarno continued to be president. Suharto came into to power when there was an attempted coup on September 30th 1965, led by himself, and he forced Sukarno to give power to him in 1966 and in 1968 Suharto replaced Sukarno as the president of Indonesia.
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Both Sukarno and Suharto relied on the army when they were in presidency. They relied on them to keep the order in Indonesia, to help them keep their rule in Indonesia and to keep the people from rebelling against their rule.
A difference between Sukarno and Suharto was that Sukarno took Indonesia out of the United Nations and Suharto put them back in. Indonesia was brought into the UN, United Nations on September 28th 1950 so that they could gain international recognition. When Sukarno was obliged to share power with the armed forces, he used the communist party to counterbalance them. Sukarno became suspicious of the United States and other Western countries, this was because he was for using communist parties and he knew that the western countries were against it. He then took Indonesia out of the United Nations in 1965 as a protest against the election of Malaysia being brought into the United Nations. When Suharto came into power he put Indonesia back into the United Nations.
Another difference between them is that Sukarno seemed to want to cut Indonesia off from the rest of the word while Suharto saw the importance of keeping good relationships with other countries. Sukarno was very anti- Western. Indonesia used to be a democracy but Sukarno said that western government was not suited to fit Indonesia’s needs, so he changed the government to a guided democracy. He then wanted to get rid of the parliament, because the political parties pursued their own interests. In 1959 he managed to bring in the old constitution. After this the parliament still existed but they became much less important. From 1960 to 1965 Sukarno ruled by himself. Something else that he did was to make a confrontation with Malaysia. He objected to the forming of Malaysia. There was fighting and things like trade were cut off. When Malaysia had a nomination to get into the UN, Indonesia pulled out of it. This again cut them off from other countries. He also made restrictions on the Non Indonesian Chinese, who had a very important role in the business life in Indonesia. The Chinese were banned from trading in the rural areas and so the economy suffered and the prices rose. This would have made a bad relationship with the Chinese. Another bad relationship that he made even worse was with the Dutch. Things were already not good between the two countries, but then he demanded that Irian Jaya be given to Indonesia because it was a part of the Dutch East Indies. There was a small fight but then the Dutch just gave the country up to Indonesia. Suharto had a more open view to the rest of the world. He reversed many of the policies made by Sukarno. When he came to be president he put Indonesia back into the United Nations. He stopped the confrontation with Malaysia. He did not like communism, and under Sukarno’s rule they had become more powerful. There was an attempted coup by the communist party but it was crushed by troops under the command of Sukarno. An estimated 80 000 communists were killed. Although there were many deaths, Suharto thought that better than for Indonesia to become a communist country. Suharto was pro-Western. He improved relations with the United States, Britain and Australia. A reason for doing this was so he could have good trade relations. Suharto also made Indonesia a part of the ASEAN, Assosiation of the South East Asian Nations. This was the most important regional organization.
All these points show the similarities and differences between Sukarno and Suharto.
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