Constitutional challenges in ensuring good governance and the rule of law



Ensuring transparency, accountability and impartiality are required to ensure good governance and the rule of law. The overall good governance and the rule of law of a state depend on transparency, accountability, and impartiality among the three main organs of the state- legislature, judiciary, and executive. The legislature is one of the most significant of these three organs, the main duty of the legislature is to make laws. The judiciary is responsible for performing judicial functions, and the executive branch is responsible for enforcing the laws. In other words, the activities of the other two departments depend a lot on the legislation of the legislative Department. Therefore, the first and foremost responsibility of the legislative department is to ensure that legislation is enacted properly.

However, Article 70 of the Constitution impedes the enactment of a transparent and acceptable law. Because Article 70 denotes that if a member of parliament votes against his party, the membership of that MP is cancelled. Consequently, if a party proposes to pass an unjustified law, then the parliament of that party is bound to vote. In the parliament, they do not get any opportunity to vote against any decision taken by the party. Instead, if they want to defend their position, they are bound to vote in favor of the decision. Moreover, it is natural that the Prime Minister elected by the MPs will be accountable to the Parliament. Still, as a result of this article, the whole bunch of parliament members of ruling party becomes accountable to the prime minister. Unfortunately, no government has taken any initiative to amend this article after the formation of the government. 

Good governance and the rule of law cannot be ensured in a state if there are some stumbling blocks in the governing system of the state.  If we look at the history of the parties that have come to power in our state, it is clear that the head of the political party is the one who is re-elected as the Prime Minister. The unwritten rule of the same person being the head of a political party and the prime minister should be amended by law. Therefore, to ensure the rule of law and good governance in the state, the first thing that needs to be done is to reform the system of governance. If articles 70, 55 (1), and 56 (1) of constitution are amended, it means that MPs can cast their votes unconditionally and form an acceptable and participatory cabinet. Apart from the ruling party alliance, other political parties should also be members of the cabinet. If such reforms are possible in the governance of the state, it will go a long way in ensuring good governance and the rule of law at every level of the state.

Harisur Rohoman, student of LLB program, Department of Law and Human Rights, University of Asia Pacific