Socialists propose presidential system, opposed by Lunam
Mejakhansk to intervene by the end of the day
The General Assembly is currently voting for two constitutional amendments proposed by the New Socialist Party. The first one, drafted by Deputy PM Nicolò Alvisi, would extend the mandate of all members of parliament from one to two years. The second one would eliminate the position of Prime Minister and give the Federal President the right to nominate ministers, making him de facto the head of Government. While the President would be still elected by the General Assembly, the bill would also give the Supreme Court the power to promulgate any laws passed by the Parliament.
The bill was subject of several critics by President James Lunam and the National Party. In a declaration that appeared on the official St.Charlie Facebook page, the President has stated that such change would affect the importance of the General Assembly, which was described as “the center of democracy”. He then claimed that the bill would harm the political independence of the Department of Defense and the Ambassadorial Council, turning St.Charlie into “an oligarchy, or a dictatorship, or even worse, an absolute regime with a parliament”. Lunam announced that if the bill passes, he may refuse to sign it, and convocate the Estates General – the congress of all the MPs, Governors, and local assemblymen – instead.
Furthermore, President Lunam was recently interviewed by the Sirocco Times, where he reaffirmed his opposition to the NSP’s bill, and claimed the bill may be a threat to the NSP’s political result in the upcoming 2014 elections. “Many socialists citizens would probably vote for NPSC in the upcoming elections due to this bill […]and how it was presented to the General Assembly without any discussion”, said Lunam.
Lunam’s letter was soon followed by a reply from Prime Minister Eastwood, where he claimed the President is “defending […] the [same] Constitution that gives the right and the duty to the government and parliamentarians to improve the situation in which we are now”. “Change has been the basis of my political program and informed citizens know it. […] -added Eastwood- [the President] forgets that the General Assembly will always be the center of the political scene”. The Prime Minister declared that such change would solve part of the “slowdown” that affected the Federal Republic in the last months and “the criticisms of slow bureaucracy” that affect the Federal Republic. He also accused Lunam of being impartial and that his personal opinion is obscuring his position. “Paradoxically, if a madman now had the position of Prime Minister or President, it would be much more difficult to take away his powers than with our reform”, concluded Eastwood.
A spokesperson from the Government has notified the Observer that the last communication between the President and the Prime Minister was “more than three days ago”.
The declarations of President Lunam were followed by the National Party. Gianluigi Casalena, Tor Pendente, told the Observer that “the bill is a threat to the democratic stability of the Federal Republic”. A statement by General Secretary Marka Mejakhansk is expected by the end of the evening. First Ambassador Alexander Reinhardt also commented the bill: “I understand the Prime Minister’s intentions, but the system we currently use already works well. As I already told him by phone, I don’t see why we should change it on the grounds of activity”.
But in the last days the debate was also extended outside the boundaries of the General Assembly. The Federal Union of Craftsmen and Manufacturers, the national trade union, has opposed the constitutional reform, citing President Lunam’s message. “We cannot implement reforms just for the sake of it. -said Ivan Yermakov, Secretary of the FUCM- While Eastwood may have good-hearted intentions, a figure that preserves our political stability is needed”.
If approved by the General Assembly, the constitutional amendments will be effective from the start sixth legislature, expected in 2014.