DEMOCRACY IS BEST DEFENDED THROUGH THE SEPARATION OF POWERS

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The power of the National Assembly to make laws is not absolute. This is because of the fact that the supreme law makers are the people. The sovereign people in a democratic republic exercise their supreme law making power through a referendum to approve the promulgation of the constitution as the supreme law of the land. 

Once the constitution is established all making powers of the assembly or parliament must be exercised in conformity with the provisions of the constitution. Any contravention of the constitution in the making of the law or its execution becomes null and void once the provision or practice is in contravention to any provision of the constitution. 

In the same vein the power of execution of the law by the executive is also not absolute. The execution of a law that is in contravention of the constitution would also be unconstitutional. This is why the courts are given powers to check and amend any contravention of the constitution by the law makers or the executive. Once the courts declare a law or its execution to be unconstitutional both the National Assembly and the executive are bound to comply. 

Herein lies the principle of the separation of powers and the principle of the rule of law. 

It is of course a matter of coincidence that Foroyaa did receive reports of plans to dissolve the councils and appoint administrators to administer the councils three months before the local government elections. This motivated it to quote section 193 of the Constitution and held that section 9A of the Local Government Act is the most undemocratic law ever enacted. It added that no democratic minded president would ever implement such a provision. Little did we know that the supreme court  would make a judgment, few hours after the circulation of the paper, that absolves Foroyaa by declaring section 9A unconstitutional and that the executive has no authority to dissolve councils before election. 

The court went further to sanitise the interpretation the Local Government Act by emphasizing that the life of a council must no longer be stretched to mean anything more than four years from the date of elections.

This confirms that a democratic system of government must lie on three fundamental pillars – the executive, the legislature and the judicature. All must operate under the dictates of the Constitution in order to function without being put to order by the relevant constitutional authority. The democratisation process is on track independent of the will of those who are not committed to it. This is the verdict of history and the benefits of 2016 that are incontrovertible and irreversible.