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Indonesian politician

Died when: 72 years 223 days (871 months)
Star Sign: Scorpio



Wilopo (/wɪlɒpɒ/ WIL-opo; 21 October 1909 – 1 June 1981) was an Indonesian politician and lawyer of the Indonesian National Party (PNI), who served as the seventh prime minister of Indonesia from his appointment in April 1952 until his resignation in June 1953.

Generally considered a member of the PNI's liberal wing, Wilopo's cabinet was described as "bolder and more ambitious than any other cabinet of the post-revolutionary period".

Wilopo was born to a Muslim family in Purworejo, in what was then the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia).He attended the Technischeh Hoge School in Bandung, before dropping out due to asthma.

In 1930, he became a teacher at a Taman Siswa school, before entering the Rechts Hogeschool (RHS) three years later.In the RHS, Wilopo became involved in the struggle for Indonesia's independence, taking an attitude of "no-cooperation" towards the colonial government.

After graduating in 1939, he became an unlicensed solicitor.Following the proclamation of independence and the subsequent national revolution which followed, he served as Deputy Minister, and later Minister of Labor under Prime Minister Mohammad Hatta.

In April 1952, after the fall of Soekiman Wirjosandjojo's government, Wilopo was appointed prime minister by President Sukarno.As prime minister, Wilopo led a "business cabinet," with unity and a common policy orientation even at the risk of uncertain parliamentary support.

During his government, Indonesia underwent several important changes in the political balance.The split between the PNI and the Masyumi Party became more pronounced, while a rift inside of the Masyumi resulted in the formation of the Nahdlatul Ulama political party.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party re-entered the political scene, and the country was facing an economic crisis by mid-1952.The government introduced several measures to combat the crisis, introducing import restrictions and reducing government expenditures.

These measures also included the reorganization of the Indonesian Army, which the army saw as excessive civilian interference, culminating in the 17 October affair.

Though the affair broke the army, it had also renewed the push for elections.By November 1952, an election bill was submitted to parliament, and it was passed on 1 April 1953.

In 1953, a land dispute in North Sumatra resulted in a confrontation that left five people dead.Outrage over the incident grew, and pressure to fire Governor Abdul Hakim Harahap.

The Masyumi stood by Abdul, and further political infighting occurred, before the cabinet decided to dissolve itself.After the fall of his cabinet, Wilopo remained active in politics.

In 1955, elections were held for the Constitutional Assembly, and he was appointed the assembly's speaker.He held the office for three years, until Sukarno dissolved the body in 1959.

In 1968, Wilopo was appointed the Chairman of the Supreme Advisory Council by President Suharto.Additionally, he chaired a commission on corruption, where despite finding "corruption everywhere", no actions were taken by the government.

He retired from politics in 1978, and he died on 1 June 1981.His body is interred at Tanah Kusir Cemetery, South Jakarta.

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