20 Feb 2003

Palau's President hopes to win lawsuit against National Congress

5:23 pm on 20 February 2003

Palau's President, Tommy Remengesau, says the Supreme Court must rule in his favour in his lawsuit against the National Congress to prevent a constitutional crisis.

In his lawsuit, President Remengesau is alleging that the Congress is encroaching on his constitutional powers and the authority of the Executive branch.

His Chief of Staff, Billy Kuartei, says the Congress passed provisions within the 2003 budget to control how budget allocations to the Executive were used as well as funds negotiated between foreign countries and the President.

He says the Congress is also seeking control over departments established within the Executive, such as Tourism and Foreign Affairs.

Mr Kuartei says currently the government is paralysed because of the conflict between the President and the Congress.

"The president vetoed the budget the National Congress overrides the presidential veto so the best way now is to go to the judiciary, clearly we are saying we cannot function under those encroachments, there is no way we are going to lose"

Billy Kuartei says the Congress has not given any reason for their actions as the President is not accused of overspending due to the executive only being allocated a certain amount of funds.