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Shock : President takes Assembly to Court

The duel between President Faure and the National Assembly has moved to the Supreme Court. Mr. Faure has challenged the decision of the Assembly, led by the LDS majority, to quash the SI by which he had attempted to implement a 5% salary increase for all public service employees. The NA had voted down the SI because it went against its position of making the salary increase as an equal amount to all employees rather than a percentage increase. 

The President’s petition, naming Assembly Speaker Nicholas Prea as respondent, was taken up today, April 16, 2019, by Judge Melchior Vidot. All LDS NA members, and two members of the US party, accompanied Speaker Prea to the Court in a show of support. 

The case comes down basically to who has final say over over Statutory Instruments which come as part of a law. The Assembly’s position has been that since the SI is part of a law, then the final prerogative to decide on it falls to the Assembly. 

Mr. Faure’s decision to pursue the case in court has come as a shock after his announcement he was negotiating with the National Assembly leaders and had appointed a technical committee to work on the issue. 

The reference of the issue to the Court raises troubling questions over the separation of powers. It remains to be seen how the court will treat the President’s request to intervene on a matter that is before the National Assembly.

The court case will drag out the issue and delay the implementation of a salary increase. The LDS majority in the National Assembly has declared that it believes the issue should be settled by negotiation both because it is the proper way to settle the matter but also because it is the only way to do this expeditiously.

 

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