The prime minister, in his State of the Nation address, on differences between the National Council and National Assembly:
Already several issues have arisen between the National Council and this House which inevitably raised the question of seeking the guidance of the Supreme Court even before it was established. Now with its establishment, the wisdom of the judiciary too will be tested if indeed constitutional issues are brought before it.
My hope is that, through the ongoing dialogue between the two houses, these issues will be resolved without judicial intervention.
Now prove that there’s some genuine commitment to resolve the many outstanding issues that the government and the National Assembly have with the National Council. Initiate that “ongoing dialogue”. And if differences can’t be resolved, seek the judiciary’s assistance. Major disagreements that need immediate attention are:
- Constituency Development Grant. The government has completely ignored the National Council’s repeated assertions that the CDG is unconstitutional.
- Question Time: Ministers have once again stopped attending the National Council’s Question Time.
- Budget appropriation. The National Council’s role in approving money and financial bills, especially in passing the budget, is still unresolved.
- NC resolutions. The government has not responded to any of the National Council’s resolutions. And during the current session, the National Council has made strong observations on the economic development and FDI policies.