Impact of ruling party dominance in the executive and legislature on the human rights and the rule of law : a review of the African presidential - parliamentary systems of government

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Tembo, Cuthbert Kondwelani
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The Presidential-Parliamentary system of government was designed primarily to bridge the gap that the Presidential and Parliamentary systems leave in their respective forms. But in any system of government, the most important thing is that government must essentially be run for the benefit of the governed. It follows that the governed hold for their own, inherent rights which they seek to protect by law. Therefore, any mandate to govern must be derived from the ability to guarantee these values. Hasten to mention however, that government is a system and like any system, it has organs tasked to perform particular acts of governance. In presidential-parliamentary systems of government, these organs intertwine so that government policy is effectively implemented while ensuring that these organs act within the confines of their mandate and for the benefit of the governed. Yet it is so hard to conceive such an ideal in certain African countries where the executive branch has assumed the name government and has rendered the other two organs, namely, the legislature and the judiciary, subordinate in the governing mandate. This having been achieved by political party dominance and consequent control of the executive branch by party dynamics, the governmental system has been reduced to a political forum through which the aspirations of these power-hungry African political parties prevail at the expense of effective government for the benefit of all. As a result, human rights are no longer guaranteed and the 'rule of law' is overtaken by 'rule by man.' This been the case, government loses its mandate to rule and the law is challenged to aid the situation. In such a case, there is need to reform the system of government so that the creeping control by African political parties of the executive branch of government is rendered impossible. The law also needs to be changed in order that the unchecked power of the executive can be more effectively checked owing to the possibility of arbitrariness in the handling of such power. Further, reforms are needed to strengthen the role of the legislature and the judiciary in so far as government is concerned. Electoral reforms are also needed to ensure that government encompasses all, majority and minority. Such reforms would ensure that the human rights violations perpetrated by the political party oriented executive branch of government no longer exist and also the violation of the rule of law would be almost unthinkable.
Human rights , Separation of powers