Self government

Self government

Self-Government Framework Agreement signed by Canada, the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories and the Government of the Northwest Territories to guide negotiations

FORT SMITH, NT, May 19, 2021 / CNW / – The Government of Canada, the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Northwest Territories signed a framework agreement that will further advance reconciliation, the right to self-determination, work towards building strong Indigenous nations and negotiations on Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories (NWTMN) land claims.

Today, the Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations of Canada, alongside Garry Bailey, President of the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories, Arthur beck, Interim President of the Métis Government of Fort Resolution, Trevor Beck, Chair of the Hay River Métis Government Council, Allan Heron, President of the Fort Smith Métis Council, and the Honorable Caroline Cochrane, Premier of Northwest Territories, signed a Framework Agreement that will pave the way for their vision of self-determination – a prosperous, self-sufficient, healthy, united and self-reliant Métis Nation in the Northwest Territories.

The Self-Government Framework Agreement will guide negotiations towards a final self-government agreement as part of the NWTMN land claims negotiation process. It describes the process of self-government negotiations, including governance of Métis Nation entities of the Northwest Territories, the legal status and capacity of Métis governments, land administration, Métis government finances. , legislative power, implementation plans and elections for Métis government. It also supports the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The government of Canada and the government of Northwest Territories remain committed to renewing nation-to-nation and government-to-government relationships with the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories on the basis of affirmation of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.


“The Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories (NWTMN) is pleased to begin self-government negotiations under the Framework Agreement on Self-Government Negotiations. The self-government negotiations will advance our land claims negotiations, which have been underway since 1996 and have been the missing piece of our land claims negotiations. The negotiation process will allow the NWTMN to advance the self-determination rights and governance interests of our Indigenous Métis members and three Métis councils. Building on our successes to date, we now have the ability to plan for our governance future.

The signing of the Framework Agreement on Self-Government is a key aspect of the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The agreement paves the way for the development of the NWTMN constitution to govern the relationship between the NWTMN, the three Métis government councils and our Indigenous Métis members. Self-government will recognize the NWTMN and Métis Government Councils as legislative authorities with the capacity to continue to provide programs and services to our members in accordance with the NWTMN Constitution. We have a lot of work to do to engage our members about self-government options and negotiations with Canada and the GNWT. The Self-Government Framework Agreement is another positive step for the Métis of the NWTMN and clearly shows the government’s commitment to reaching an agreement with the NWTMN. “

Garry Bailey,
President of the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories

“The Métis Government of Fort Resolution recognizes that self-government is critically important to our members as it will empower the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories (NWTMN) and the councils to effectively manage the lands and Métis finances and to continue to provide programs and services Canada, the government of Northwest Territories and the NWTMN. We have a lot of work to do to mobilize our members and solicit their input to inform the negotiations. We look forward to starting this negotiating process. “

Arthur Beck,
Interim President of the Métis Government of Fort Resolution

“After many years of perseverance and struggle, the Hay River Métis Government Council is pleased that we have reached an agreement on the Self-Government Framework Agreement and recognize that we have a lot of work to do. We look forward to working with our members to develop a constitution and shape self-government for the Métis of the Northwest Territories, which will benefit the Native Métis of the Northwest Territories for generations to come. Métis Nation and Métis Councils, and continue to provide much needed programs and services to our members. “

Trevor Beck,
Hay River Métis Government Council Chair

“The signing of the Framework Agreement on Autonomy is symbolically an important step in Canada and the government of Northwest Territories’ recognition of our status as a Métis nation as an Aboriginal government. The signing of this agreement will allow the Fort Smith Métis Council to intensify its efforts to achieve an Indigenous Métis government that reflects our distinct identity and our continued contribution to Canada and the Northwest Territories. It will also allow the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories and the Métis Councils to be legislative authorities capable of continuing to provide programs and services to our members. “

Allan Heron,
President of the Fort Smith Métis Council

“Our government is committed to working with Indigenous leaders to support their right to self-government. Achieving a self-government agreement will advance reconciliation and recognize and affirm the treaty rights of the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories. The framework agreement is an important step in this process. It is a testament to the work of all parties to find common ground and demonstrates the strength of the relationship we have built. ”

The Honorable Caroline Cochrane,
Premier of the Northwest Territories

“Strong and self-sufficient Indigenous Nations, able to govern effectively and exercise their right to self-determination, are essential to enhancing the well-being and economic prosperity of Indigenous communities in the North. Congratulations and thank you to the president Garry Bailey, President Arthur beck, President Trevor Beck and president Allan Heron for your leadership and determination. By signing this framework agreement today, our government is taking a fundamental step towards advancing reconciliation and transforming our relationship with the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories. ”

The Honorable Carolyn Bennett, MD, PC, MP,
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“Ensuring that Indigenous governments are able to achieve self-government is essential to reconciliation. My congratulations to the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories on this historic milestone, and I look forward to seeing further progress made through this framework agreement.

Michael mcleod,
Deputy, Northwest Territories

Fast facts

  • Section 35 of from Canada Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes the ancestral rights of the first
  • Nations, Inuit and Métis.
  • Today’s announcement marks a key step in the ongoing negotiations to advance reconciliation under this framework agreement.
  • A framework agreement defines the subject of the negotiation and describes how the negotiations will unfold. Negotiations will begin with a view to an Agreement in Principle, a detailed document that forms the basis of a final agreement and addresses most of the issues outlined in the framework agreement.

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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

For further information: media may contact: Ani Dergalstanian, Press Secretary and Communications Advisor, Office of the Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, 819-997-0002; Media Relations: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-934-2302, [email protected]; Todd Sasaki, Department of Executive and Aboriginal Affairs, Government of the Northwest Territories, 867-767-9168 ext. 15015, [email protected]; President Garry Bailey, Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories, 867-621-2767, [email protected]

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Self government

The Congress followed the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Spain

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe followed the application of the Charter in Spain, from 18 to 20 May 2021.

The delegation is made up of rapporteurs Bryony Rudkin (United Kingdom, SOC / G / PD) and David Eray (Switzerland, EPP / CCE). They held meetings with local and national authorities in Spain to assess the implementation of the charter. The previous monitoring report and the recommendation on local and regional democracy in Spain were adopted in 2013. All meetings were held at a distance due to the current health crisis.

The delegation met the Spanish National Delegation to Congress, the national associations of local and regional authorities, the Parliament, the Ombudsman, the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Administration, the Ministry of Finance, the Constitutional Court and the Court. accounts. They also met the mayors of Madrid, Ohanes and Valladolid.

The resulting report will be examined by the Monitoring Committee in autumn 2021.

Spain ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1988. The countries which have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the fundamental basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.


Stéphanie POIREL, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee, Tel. : +33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84,
E-mail: [email protected]

See also:

Interview with rapporteur David Eray

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Self government

The Congress followed the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in North Macedonia

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe followed the application of the Charter in North Macedonia, from 20 to 21 April 2021.

The delegation, made up of the co-rapporteurs on local democracy, Harald Bergmann (Netherlands, GILD) and Zdeněk Brož (Czech Republic, ECR) met the authorities of North Macedonia at local and national levels to discuss the implementation of the Charter. The last report and recommendation on local democracy in the country was adopted in 2012. All meetings will be held remotely due to the current health crisis.

Meetings were held with the North Macedonian national delegation to the Congress, the Association of Local Self-Government Units of the Republic of North Macedonia, the Parliament, the Court of Auditors, the Ombudsman, the ministries of self-government Local and Finance and Constitutional Court. The co-rapporteurs also met the mayors of Skopje, Vinica and Centar Župa.

The resulting report will be examined by the Monitoring Committee.

North Macedonia ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1997. The countries which have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the fundamental basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.


Stéphanie POIREL, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee, Tel. : +33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84,
E-mail: [email protected]

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Self government

Leendert Verbeek: “Respect for the European Charter of Local Self-Government is essential for the resilience and sustainability of local democracy”

Addressing the General Assembly of the Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South East Europe (NALAS), on April 13, 2021, Congress President Leendert Verbeek underlined the importance of the European Charter of local self-government to ensure the sustainability of local democracy and local self-government. -government. He also expressed concern about the negative impact of Covid-19 on human rights, local democracy and constitutional values. “The pandemic has worsened the so-called recurring problems in the application of the Charter. These include the lack of consultation, an inadequate distribution of powers and financial resources and excessive supervision, ”warned President Verbeek.

He called on the member states of the Council of Europe to support local communities in their fight against the pandemic without compromising local autonomy, which is essential for building democratic and sustainable societies. “It is our responsibility, as local and regional elected representatives, to be alongside our citizens, to preserve democracy and to create an environment conducive to the sustainable economic development of our cities and regions”, underlined the president. .

The General Assembly of NALAS was opened by the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, the President of the Congress of Local Authorities of Moldova, Tatiana Badan, and the Mayor of Chisinau and head of the Moldovan delegation to the Congress, Ion Ceban . They welcomed the cooperation with Congress, including the post-monitoring roadmap and the technical assistance provided for various projects.

President Verbeek underlined that the partnership between the Congress and NALAS plays a key role in the discussions on decentralization and local self-government in the South East European region. He also underlined the excellent cooperation with the Moldovan authorities and the importance of the post-monitoring roadmap to be signed with the authorities.

See also:

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Self government

Scottish law incorporates the European Charter of Local Self-Government

The European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) bill was incorporated into Scottish law after Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) voted unanimously to approve it.

Introduced by Andy Wightman MSP, the bill aims to strengthen local government in Scotland, made up of 32 councils.

The European Charter of Local Self-Government was established in 1985 by the Council of Europe and sets out 10 principles to protect the basic powers of local authorities with regard to their political, administrative and financial independence, and was ratified by the UK in 1997.

The Council of Europe is an international organization which promotes democracy and protects human rights and the rule of law across the European continent and the UK is one of its 47 member states.

Mr. Wightman said that the incorporation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government The Bill in Scottish Law would allow the Charter to be directly relied on to settle matters in Scottish courts and would allow individuals and organizations to challenge the Scottish Government in the courts if its laws or rulings are inconsistent with the chart.

The bill also contains a section which places a general duty on the Scottish government to promote local government.

Commenting on Twitter, Mr Wightman said: ‘Delighted that my European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) bill is passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament. Thanks to all the supporters. The culmination of decades of efforts by COSLA and others.

Chair of the Scottish Local Authorities Convention (COSLA) Councilor Alison Evison added: “I am absolutely delighted, it is a long-standing ambition of COSLA to see this charter incorporated into national law.
“This is a major achievement for local government and for communities.

“This means that the status and position of local government as a democratic representative of local communities will be strengthened by enshrining international legal rights in Scottish law.

“This in turn will strengthen the voice of our local communities and help achieve better results, the agreed results, with and for them.

“It will mean parity between government partners as we work together, for example on the national performance framework.

“The incorporation of the charter will formalize and integrate better partnership work and ensure that subsidiarity is a flaw in policymaking through the democratic system.

“Most importantly, it will help us achieve the lasting change around empowering communities that we seek.

“Finally, I would like to express our thanks to Andy Wightman MSP for bringing forward a private member’s bill on the charter, his role in bringing us here today cannot be overstated. “

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Self government

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Board of Directors Considering Self-Government Options

“We have to try,” says QIA chairman PJ Akeeagok

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. board members say they want to take a closer look at achieving greater self-government for the Inuit of Nunavut.

How to do this was discussed at NTI’s board meeting in Baker Lake on Wednesday, with several board members expressing disillusionment with the Government of Nunavut and the low number of Inuit among its leadership.

Kunuk Inutiq, director of self-determination of NTI, presented a report on the subject. She said that self-government for the Inuit of Nunavut would not fundamentally change its public government and that territorial leaders could still represent Nunavummiut.

“Inuit self-government would build on the elements of Inuit governance that already exist, quite logically through land claims organizations,” its report said.

But Inuit self-government would require these regional Inuit organizations to include institutions “that can better serve the interests of the Inuit and the Inuit.”

Options moving forward include negotiating with the GN to create an “intergovernmental services agreement,” she said.

Under such an agreement, NTI could take over the delivery of social programs such as education for Inuit in Nunavut.

Another option would be to develop Inuit-focused programs and services independent of the GN.

Or NTI could ask the federal government to enter into a formal self-government agreement, which could take up to 20 years.

PJ Akeeagok, president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, said it was worth exploring the possibilities.

“We have to try,” he said after listening to the report.

Inutiq mentioned how Makivik Corp. set a precedent for Inuit seeking a form of self-government that would operate alongside regional public government.

“While Canada’s preference is for public government, federal policy and law do not exclude the possibility of Inuit self-government in Nunavut,” said Inutiq.

The GN would be unable to prevent the Inuit of Nunavut from pursuing a self-government process based on section 35, she said.

Section 35 is the part of the Constitution Act that recognizes and affirms Aboriginal rights and the inherent right of self-government.

But GN involvement would likely be required in all discussions with the federal government, she said.

And if self-government were sought under the Nunavut Accord, the GN would almost certainly be involved.

Either way, NTI said the GN couldn’t stop it from pursuing self-government.

The president of the Kivalliq Inuit Association, Kono Tattuinee, declared that he was “totally behind this quest which is ours”.

In a resolution, the board said NTI would reconsider self-government at its next annual general meeting.

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Self government

Symbol of local autonomy, democracy and development, according to speaker Lok Sabha | Latest India News

Local self-government is a symbol of both democracy and development Lok Sabha chairman Om Birla said on Friday that it provides a framework for the decentralization of democracy.

The comments of the Lok Sabha chairman came during the inauguration of the awareness and familiarization program for local bodies of the northeastern states in Shillong.

“Local self-government is a symbol of both democracy and development. It provides a framework for the decentralization of democracy. It strengthens democracy at the local level through which citizens have the possibility of becoming part of the local self-government of their region, ”said the speaker.

“There are several provisions in our Constitution offering optimal opportunities for the development of all regions of the country. An Autonomous District Council for these states has been created in Schedule 6 of our Constitution, ”said Birla.

The primary objective of the creation of these Councils is to protect the rights of the tribal communities of the North East, to ensure them equal rights in the decision-making process and to ensure that their administration is carried out in accordance with their traditions and conventions, he mentioned.

“Mahatma Gandhi believed that the soul of India lives in the villages. He believed in rural self-reliance and the development of the nation (Rashtrodaya) through the development of villages (Gramodaya). He believed that every village should be The government is developing policies and plans to make this autonomy a nationwide phenomenon. But an autonomous India can only be possible if we are Vocal for Local, “he said.

Emphasizing the digital penetration in governance, he said that e-Panchyat has been introduced, which has brought about revolutionary changes in the functioning of local self-government.

It is our responsibility to make a collective effort to make democracy strong, transparent and accountable, he added.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya Metbah Lyngdoh, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Industry and Food Processing, Rameshwar Teli and various MPs from the Northeast region also took part in the event.

The program was organized by the Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracies (PRIDE), of the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

The theme of the program was “Panchayati Raj System / Autonomous District Council – Strengthening Decentralized Democracy”.

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Self government

Opinion: Helping Xinjiang and Tibet through Divestment and Self-Government

These days, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s going on outside the United States, yet China continues to commit human rights violations in Xinjiang and Tibet with impunity. In fact, the pandemic has increased restrictions. Fortunately, the international community is speaking out, the Member States of the United Nations decry abuses in Xinjiang and human rights experts raise concerns on the “enforced disappearance” of the Panchen Lama. As the number of these convictions increases, we would like to propose two more: the disengagement of companies complicit in human rights violations and the recognition by the United Nations as non-self-governing territories.

Tibet and Xinjiang both have a disputed history of conflict with China, mostly over sovereignty issues. China claims Tibet has been under Chinese sovereignty for 1793. In contrast, the Tibetan government-in-exile claims that Tibet was invaded in 1949-50. Tibet had its own language, currency, army, government, culture, religion and treaties, which display their independence. Meanwhile, in comparison, in Xinjiang, China began asserting more sovereign control over the region – which borders Russia – as it became more interested in trade. A history of separatist violence challenging Chinese sovereignty claims has only heightened China’s resolve.

China’s human rights violations in Tibet and Xinjiang in the name of state sovereignty are truly endless. China has implemented the forced transfer of populations; public executions; murder of demonstrators; torture of monks, nuns and citizens in the country, including Tibet. Tibet also suffered from the genocide. Both regions suffered “re-education” and mass surveillance, and China has denied the basic rights of the two populations. Less direct infringements of rights such as destruction of monasteries, exile of religious leaders, attempted installation of religious leaders and Tibetan flag bans and Dalai Lama photos also took place.

Despite China’s draconian control over the two regions, divestment could be an effective means of exerting economic pressure on China. In Xinjiang, in particular, the divestiture could have the additional effect of ensuring that US-based businesses and consumers are not complicit in these human rights violations. In Tibet, US companies should consider disengaging from strategic sectors that will weaken either Chinese economic growth or the People’s Liberation Army. Meanwhile, in Xinjiang, Americans and US companies own millions of shares in Chinese tech companies like Hikvision and Dahua, which are implicated in human rights abuses, while other US-based companies companies, like Nike and Adidas, can source materials from the forced labor of the Uyghurs themselves, for which these companies should be held accountable. Marion smith, the executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, endorses this approach through Congress. All of these measures may not force China to completely stop the persecution of Uyghurs, but it would make participation in human rights abuses costly for American businesses, investors and consumers.

In addition to divestment, the UN should officially recognize Tibet and Xinjiang as Non-self-governing territories, which is defined as “the territories whose population has not yet reached a full measure of self-government”. A formal label like this would constitute a strong UN challenge to China’s claims to sovereignty in the two regions, and it would require China to report annually on the status of each territory’s progress towards independence. . retaliation, but China status on the UN Special Committee on Decolonization could influence the definition of decolonization, which would also have consequences for the rest of the world. In addition, the presence of Han Chinese settlers, attracted by incentive migration policies, complicates the eventual process of decolonization for the two regions. However, it should be noted that the two regions, which still have high ethnic concentrations of their indigenous populations, can serve as buffer states and benefit from growing international recognition of human rights violations. A more in-depth conversation on this idea would certainly help shed light on the extent of China’s resistance and more details on the effectiveness of this proposal.

As should be evident by now, these propositions are neither simple nor holistic. Our argument is that resuming the debate, even with non-exhaustive solutions, is the only way to find better answers. While talking about the problem isn’t a guarantee of a solution, ignoring it is a sure-fire way to make sure there never is one.

Fatima Bamba, Katie Engsberg, Mitchell Macheske and Sarah Salkowski are masters students at the School of International Service. The opinions expressed by the authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Eagle and its staff.

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Self government

Private militias are the enemy of self-government

If we cherish our right to choose our leaders, we must crack down on private armed “militias”.

The US Constitution and all 50 states prohibit armed militias who train together or show up in force at public gatherings. Under Illinois law, it is illegal for people to organize into a private militia without state permission.

Yet national authorities have looked the other way as private militias – truly irresponsible armed offenders – do just that. Authorities have also ignored the dangerous spread of “open port” laws, which allow vigilantes to carry military-style weapons to public gatherings and even to state capitals. Organizations that track militias say they are active in all 50 states.

Climb the steps of the Capitol

When insurgents stormed the United States Capitol on January 6, militias known as Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and Three Percenters were among them. The video captured men dressed in camouflage marching in an organized line along the steps of the Capitol with combat helmets, bulletproof vests, gloves with knuckle protection and radios. On Monday, the FBI warned of possible armed protests in all 50 state capitals and Washington, DC, in the coming days.

For Americans who believe in democracy, this is very scary.

Reasonable Americans should agree that no elected government can function if armed paramilitaries use force or the threat of force to overthrow the will of the people. How can government function when lawmakers and their families are threatened with violence? Yet the Southern Poverty Law Center says that in 2019 there were around 180 anti-government militias across the country undergoing military-style training.

Ignore at our peril

Government officials have tended to ignore groups because they do not recognize the extent of the threat, do not want to spark a storm of opposition from gun rights groups, or, in some regions sympathize squarely with the militias. In addition, some police and prosecutors claim that anti-militia laws are so vague that they are unenforceable.

Laws need to be updated and enforced.

In court documents filed Thursday, federal prosecutors, without specifically naming the militias, said some of those who stormed Capitol Hill intended to “capture and assassinate elected officials.” They are the kind of people who are drawn to armed militias. And this is not the first time that we have seen an attempt to overthrow duly elected governments. Members of a Michigan militia called Wolverine Watchmen have been accused of plotting the kidnapping of governors, including Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

People who believe in their right to violently overthrow democracy have long communicated with each other and reinforced their twisted beliefs in online chat rooms and in the feverish swamps of message boards. After January 6, it is clear that they represent a clear and present danger.

“We are in the middle of another civil rights movement,” said Kathleen Sances, president and CEO of the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention PAC. “I think it’s an effort to maintain a white supremacist system.”

Some militia members are aligned with the so-called boogaloo movement, which seeks to prepare for or incite civil war.

Easily leads are swept

Chicagoan Lee Goodman, who led the pre-pandemic protests against gun violence, said he always tried to engage with opponents who showed up at his events.

Many of them were people who had perhaps barely passed civic education classes in school and did not really understand a political system based on democratic representation. They are trained by like-minded individuals with violence in mind, he said.

“When you tell them it’s all about personal freedom, they believe it,” he said.

True personal freedom requires democratic government. America’s real strength is that it is a democracy ruled by the will of the people. Private armed “militias” have no place here.

Send letters to [email protected].

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Self government

60th Anniversary of Self-Government: Singapore’s Pre-Independence ‘National Day’

SINGAPORE: Everyone knows that August 9 is Singapore’s national day, when the country comes together to celebrate independence. But for a few years before 1965, it took place on a different date.

For older Singaporeans, June 3, 1959 was that day to remember. It was at this point that Singapore adopted its own constitution and became a self-governing internal state for the first time in its history (the British still had the final say on external matters, namely defense and foreign affairs. ).

In fact, the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) recorded this momentous day as “the creation of a nation”. It is written on its website: “On June 3, 1959, the 1.6 million people in Singapore woke up to a new beginning – as people of a fully self-governing city-state under the British crown. “

The day was also immortalized through the famous music video of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s catchy “Merdeka” call.

Historian Albert Lau told CNA that self-government, while not yet independent, was a milestone in Singapore’s constitutional development.

“Achieving self-government sent an important signal that Singapore still needed new momentum to achieve its goal of freeing itself from colonial rule,” said the associate professor at the National University of Singapore. .

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also made mention of this historic day during last year’s National Day rally, saying, “Nationally, Singapore’s politics have been fiercely opposed, on different visions of the future. of the colony. In 1959, Singapore gained internal autonomy, a big step forward. towards independence. “

On the 60th anniversary of Singapore’s pre-independence national day, CNA looks back on some of the key events and quotes that shaped its significance.


The general elections held in 1959 were to determine who would lead Singapore into this new period of internal autonomy, but they were also important for another reason: it was the first time that voting had been made compulsory.

Nanyang Technological University assistant professor Ngoei Wen-Qing told CNA that this was the time when “mass politics” reached Singapore.

According to the Chronicle of Singapore, a book published in association with the National Library Board of Singapore, 51 seats were nominated in this election, and the PAP ran against groups like the People’s Alliance of Singapore (SPA), led by Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock, the United Malaysian National Organization (UMNO) and the Workers’ Party founded by David Marshall, the Chief Prime Minister of Singapore.

Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, in his memoir, The Singapore Story, said polls closed at 8 p.m. on May 30 and the vote count started from 9 p.m. before ending at 2:45 am the next morning.

In the end, PAP won 43 of the 51 contested seats, while SPA won four – including Lim’s successful contest against Marshall at Cairnhill – and UMNO won three. Independent AP Rajah won the remaining seat.

“The people’s verdict is clear and decisive. Nothing more can be added to it. It is a victory of good over evil, of the pure over the dirty, of righteousness over evil. – PAP Secretary General Lee Kuan Yew, quoted in Chronicle of Singapore.


Immediately after the election victory, Lee and his colleagues focused on the release of eight men associated with the PAP who had been detained under the Preservation of Public Safety Act. This meant that Mr. Lee and his cabinet would not be sworn in until June 5.

The Singapore Chronicle reports that the eight men were CV Devan Nair (Singapore’s third president), Lim Chin Siong, Fong Swee Suan, S. Woodhull, Chan Thiaw Thor, James Puthucheary, Chan Chong Kin and Chen Say James.

They were union leaders who were among 234 people detained by the government in 1956 following the Chinese high school riots. They were finally released on June 4 – 31 months after being detained.

In his memoir, Mr. Lee explained why the release of the Eight took precedence over the swearing in: “We had thought before the election and concluded that Lim Chin Siong and his company should be released from prison before we took office, otherwise we would lose all credibility.

This was reiterated by Dr Ngoei: “The PAP, before the 1959 elections, pledged to have them released. And once they won this election, Lee Kuan Yew delayed taking office in order to obtain this release… so it is important for the credibility of the PAP.

Sir William Goode, Singapore’s last governor who went on to become its first Yang di-Pertuan Negara (head of state), disagreed with the delay, especially after Lim Yew Hock resigned his post as chief minister once he found out his party had lost the election. But Mr. Lee held on.

Sir William, however, would not wait. He published in the Gazette and brought the new constitution into effect on June 3, Lee said in his memoir.

This is why there was a delay between the recognition of Singapore as a state with internal autonomy on June 3 and the swearing-in of its new leadership on June 5.

Dr Ngoei said this turned out to be “good policy” on the part of PAP.

“It was good policy that the PAP was trying to press so that it separates the release of detainees as a topical event from the constitution being enacted, and identifying the enacted constitution with the will of the people as well. than the victory of the PAP, “he explained.

S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies principal researcher Kwa Chong Guan went further, saying that the day was one of those “turning points” that could have given Singapore’s political and historical development “quite a turning point. different “if Sir William had not done so. accede to Mr. Lee’s request.

“I again countered that we were not to be sworn in until June 5, after Lim Chin Siong, Fong, and the other six pro-Communists were not only released but duly issued a statement publicly endorsing the non-Communist goals of the government. PAP.

“I wanted this endorsement to have full media coverage; so we would only take office on the afternoon of June 5th so as not to compete with him for the headlines. – Mr. Lee in The History of Singapore


The PAP formed Singapore’s first fully elected government and the nine-member Cabinet was sworn in on June 5.

  • Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister
  • Toh Chin Chye, Deputy Prime Minister
  • Ong Eng Guan, Minister of National Development
  • Goh Keng Swee, Minister of Finance
  • Ong Pang Boon, Minister of the Interior
  • KM Byrne, Minister of Labor and Law
  • Ahmad Ibrahim, Minister of Health
  • Yong Nyuk Lin, Minister of Education
  • S Rajaratnam, Minister of Culture

They were sworn in at a closed-door ceremony held at Town Hall by Sir William. According to Mr Lee, Sir William arrived at the scene “nothing more formal than a light tawny suit and tie” while the Cabinet wore “white open-necked shirts and pants”.

The swearing-in room was “bare except for a table and a few chairs” as there was no time for decorations, he added.

In addition to an important step towards full independence, the events of June 1959 “also mark the rise of the PAP to political power in Singapore”, underlined the NUS Assoc Prof Lau.

The celebrations for this pre-independence national day took place from 1960 to 1963, according to the National Library Board.

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