This justifies our fear about the intention that some of the advocates of independent candidates may have. Halifa certainly has little comprehension of Parliamentary democracy. His explanation of what is meant by separation of powers under presidential systems is simply out of place. To have majority of MPs on the side of the ruling government does not in anyway affect the separation of powers in our case. It has no impact on independent judicial system. It has no impact on the ability of the MPs to debate and make laws as part of their legislative responsibility neither does it affect the executive from exercising its powers of making policies and strategies as per their political manifesto. Probably Halifa is not also following the USA where the Congress and the Senate are controlled by the GOP.
Has that artificially undermined the separation of powers in the USA?
Does he want to work with a lame President where nothing will be delivered in five years in tangible terms?
What does separation of powers mean in a nutshell?
1. The executive makes policies and strategies but they cannot vote to make laws based on those strategies and policies. The assembly has to do that. The executive has to design policies and implementation strategies for those policies as per their political manifesto. They have to work hard to deliver their election manifesto which is translated into policies. We assess them by that!
2. The Assembly makes laws but they cannot formulate laws and pass them at the same time. The assembly scrutinizes the spending of the executive in the appropriation expenditure line by line but they cannot make budget as that would mean no separation of powers.
3. The Judiciary is not supposed to be controlled and dictated by the executive arm of the government. When there is dispute between the executive and the assembly, the judiciary mediates and explains the law.
Those carrying out governance reforms at national and sub-national levels internationally would surely agree with me and they would see my argument from the same perspective in practical terms. If Halifa means what he says, then he is definitely living in a different World and catastrophically misleading the public, which is unfortunate.
I do not have enough space otherwise I can explain more but I hope eloquent people like Alhagi Suntu can explain well in local languages if he has time.
Thanks for giving me space!!
Momodou Lamin Sawaneh
Governance and Public Finance Advisor
To the Government of Solomon Islands