Source: The Namibian
by Werner Menges
AN ATTEMPT to amend the Namibian Citizenship Act in order to override a recent Supreme Court judgement on citizenship rights is the most serious challenge since independence to Namibia’s constitutional order, the Society of Advocates of Namibia warned yesterday.
In a media statement issued by the society, which represents lawyers practising as advocates in Namibia, the organisation called on President Hage Geingob to exercise his constitutional power to withhold his assent to the Namibian Citizenship Amendment Bill on the basis that its adoption would be in conflict with the Constitution. Such a step by the President would then entitle the attorney general to have the question of the constitutionality of the bill referred to the Supreme Court for final determination, the society stated in the press release issued by its president, Esi Schimming-Chase.
“The Society of Advocates is deeply concerned about the impact of the bill,” Schimming-Chase stated. “This legislation constitutes the most serious challenge since independence to the supremacy of the Namibian Constitution, the rule of law and the separation of powers within our constitutional democracy,” she remarked. While Namibia has a jealously guarded reputation as a constitutional democracy that upholds the doctrine of the separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial arms of the state, the bill disrespects that separation of powers and undermines the rule of law, Schimming-Chase added.
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