Friday, December 4, 2020

Will There Be Another Tussle Between The Executive And The National Assembly On Extension Of The State Of Emergency?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

The Executive could say that under Section 34 Subsection 6 it could declare a state of emergency before the expiration date of a subsisting state of emergency which could last for 21 days since the National Assembly is not in Session until the 15th June 2020. The National Assembly could say that the current state of emergency lapses on the 15th June 2020. Hence a declaration of a state of emergency taking effect on 16th June 2020 when the Assembly is in Session could last only for seven days unless extended by the National Assembly through resolution. The arithmetic of the law should be done correctly and technicality must not negate the substantive issue of strengthening and not weakening parliamentary oversight. Social media should encourage law makers not to sacrifice powers of scrutiny before the alter of fame due to wrong public perception of the role and powers of parliament to restrain executive authority. Separation of powers require strategic tussle and tactical conciliation in order to ensure that decisions are not one-sided and development do not rely on one leg.

Hence the Executive and the National Assembly should get their act together this time and prepare the way to synchronise vision and mission to combat COVID-19 in the National interest.

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