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The Executive

This organ or arm of government is primarily charged with the responsibility of implementing the laws and the rules made by the legislature. That is, it executes the laws and policies of the State, as may have been fashioned by the legislature. In this process of administering the country, it enforces laws, introduces bills into the legislature and organises the bureaucracy with a view to making it function efficiently.

Functions of the Executive

1. Administration:
The Executive manages the elaborate administrative machinery of government. It directs and supervises the enforcement of public policies. The executive appoints, disciplines and removes subordinate public officials and directs their work.

2. Legislation:
Law making is primarily a function of the legislature. In practice however, the Executive has a share directly or indirectly, in the process of legislation. It recommends measures for the consideration of the legislature, initiates bills, defends them in parliament and exercises a supervisory veto.

3. Judicial:
In the main time, this stands for the power to grant pardon or other forms of clemency to persons convicted of crimes. The right of pardon rests on the Chief Executive. The State Chief Executive can grant general amnesty to some categories of prisoners especially those politically convicted on grounds of conscience.

4. Security Functions:
These include the maintenance of internal security, the defence of the nation against external aggression as well as ensuring the maintenance of law and order in the State. This is done thorough the establishment of Military and Police Forces. The President is usually the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and is responsible for the appointment of Military and Police Chiefs – Services Chiefs.

5. Diplomacy:
The Executive is charged with the conduct of organising diplomatic relations with other countries and is responsible for the final decisions relating to foreign policy. The minister of External Affairs and diplomats may handle routine diplomatic foreign relation matters but the decision for action or inaction rests with
the Chief Executive of the State.

The Relationship between the Executive and the Legislature
In a parliamentary system of government, members of the executive are recruited from the legislature. They hold office as long as they enjoy the confidence of the House. Members of the cabinet are sometimes required to appear in the legislature for questioning on matters affecting their ministries. In addition, the President or Prime Minister performs legislature functions and may sometimes initiate bills and ensure that they pass through in the legislature.

On the other hand, the Legislature and the Executive are functionally separated in a Presidential system of government. Members of the legislature are not members of the executive and this gives rise to a system of checks and balance and promotes good government.