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Minister denies constitutional review committee violates agreement

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January 28, 2011 (JUBA) - John Luk Jok, a minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutional said Friday that a presidential decree issued by the president of the semi autonomous regional government of south Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, appointing constitutional review committee, last week does not violate October a communiqué, which followed a conference of the south’s political parties.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune in the regional capital of Juba on Friday Jok said the presidential order appointing him to lead to constitutional review committee does not violate the communiqué but rather was a step in implementing the resolutions of the conference.

South Sudan’s President Kiir, convened the conference in an effort to unite the south ahead of its referendum on independence that was completed on January 15, with initial results indicating that the south will separate from the north.

One of the outcomes of the conference was to set up a committee to review the south’s interim constitution to provide for the eventuality that the south secedes in July.

Jok denies that the decree contravened the resolutions of the conference.

"I have seen some exchanges in the media trying to say things which are absolutely not the intention of the presidential decree. The intention of presidential decree was to enforce resolutions of the conference, it did not violate any term of reference, may be these people needs to study the communiqué," said Jok denying that other southern political parties have been excluded from the constitutional review committee.

"Do you have the copy of the presidential decree," asked Jok; "I have seen some views denying inclusion of political parties in the committee", he said.

"There are representatives from the other political parties in the committee. One of them is Gabriel Changson Chang". "He is not a member of the SPLM. He represents other political parties," explained Jok.

The minister who appears to be responding to a press release by Gordon Buay, who identified himself as the former Secretary General of South Sudan Democratic Front (SSDF) and the signatory of Washington Declaration between the SPLM and the SSDF in 2008, said the committee is not the commission referred to in the communiqué.

Buay accused the president of violating the terms of reference of south Sudan Political Parties Communiqué, arguing that inclusion of some members of South Sudan Legislative Assembly in the committee would compromise independence of the house once the bill is present for adoption.

"By the way people should not think that this is the commission if they are referring to the final communiqué of all south Sudan political parties". "This is just a committee tasked to prepare convening of the conference", and if they can recall, the communiqué itself allows the government of south Sudan to establish such a body in form of commission".

"This is exactly what the president has done, said minister Jok, adding, "It is just the technical review committee of specialists from various fields to prepare for the conference,".

George Kongor Arop, a former vice president of the republic of Sudan and now a president of southern political party the African National Congress, in a separate interview with Sudan Tribune said he does not see any violation of communiqué by the presidential decree.

"I do not think the presidential decree violates any resolutions of south Sudan political parties. I think intention is to implement those resolutions… We agreed in the resolutions that the government of south Sudan will establish a constitutional review commission to be adopted by the south Sudan Legislative Assembly in the event the choice of the people of south Sudan in the referendum becomes of the secession".

"This was one of the resolutions. What the president has now formed is the committee. This committee shall therefore work in collaborations with committees from other political parties in sharing ideas as they review the constitution. This is how I view it," explained Arop.

Tong Lual Ayat, chairman of the United Democratic Party, also said presidential decree does not violate the communiqué. "For us in the United Democratic Party, we do not see any problem because we believe the intention of this committee is to prepare ground for establishment of the constitutional review commission," said Ayat.

(ST)

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  • 29 January 2011 05:46, by Bol Deng

    Dear Gatwech, Gordon Buay (SSDF),and all wishes,

    You should be careful went diverting critical issues into tribal matter. Now, Luk expressed your concern that you are talking to yourselves because Salva Kiir is working according to the channels in the constitution. Wow!

    repondre message

    • 29 January 2011 06:21, by Gatwech

      Dear Minister John Luk,

      You are one of my favorite politicians because I know you are always a legal minded person who wants to follow what the law says.

      I may agree with you that the decree of the President cannot be said to have violated, in whole, the resolutions of the conference.

      Equally, including a good number of representatives from the Southern opposition political parties in the technical committee would not either violate what can be achieved by the decree.

      Since the government and the opposition parties are in the same boat, pursuing the same thing as agreed in the parties conference in October, why was it so difficult for the President to select at least half of the committee from representatives of the parties.

      I know all the political parties cannot be represented since they are more than 20, but at least they could be told to select 7-10 representatives. Why was it difficult to do in the decree if the spirit of togetherness and participatory democracy is there?

      In my opinion, as a citizen of this new state coming into being, and concerned about the unity of our people and political parties, we should not be so rigid and selfish when it comes to pursuant of our common destiny.

      Yes, the decree doesn’t violate the conference resolutions, but at the same time, including at least 10 representatives from the opposition parties in the technical committee you chair would not violate the decree. It would in fact supplement the decree and make the work easier, smoother and cordial since the parties have enthusiasm and cry out to be included. Your joint team work with the opposition parties would have even made the road to the upcoming conference more united and successful.

      I can see two similar names in the opposition parties saying that was not a problem. But you consider the other bigger political parties from other regions of the South.

      We should not think rigid and selfish even when we are aiming at the same goal.

      repondre message

      • 29 January 2011 06:33, by Bol Deng

        Gatwech,

        How many representatives you want to divide among political parties? do you the number before attempting to divide the unknown number to political parties.
        If i were you, i would get shame because the minister has snapped you mucky mouth which always tell the people of South Sudan lies.
        Since April election, i never witness anything that you said to be conceived as true. You always and vow to removed the leaderships.You are always praising something unworthy to happen to our leaders.
        Not only those but always a bad wishes. You had been or now a militia against SPLM/A if not then you are absence minded. Thanks

        repondre message

        • 29 January 2011 06:42, by Gatwech

          Deng Bol,

          Please prove to the world that you are a mature person in mind.

          You asked of what number of opposition parties I would want represented, and yet I have already put the number down in my first comment above. Didn’t you read it properly?

          Yes, there were certain things if the leadership had not done, would require removal of such leaders. However the April elections went well because the leaders changed possitively in some ways, not all.

          And of course, and leadership that needs stability in the South must seriously support cordial work with the opposition. It is a wise thing to do.

          repondre message

          • 29 January 2011 06:50, by Nhomlawda

            Gatwech

            Why do you always wish South Sudan to be instable.
            Do you think it is 1991 when our army was occupied fighting Arabs. Should you anyagats attempt this time to cause havoc, the result will be ugly. You have already seen an air force in place and you are still maintaining your traitorship behavior.
            Let those brainless traitors try again this time round, they will never forget.

            repondre message

            • 29 January 2011 06:59, by Gatwech

              Nhomlawda,

              That is not what John Luk is talking about. I don’t know what fighting you refer to. I am not a tribal warrior and I better leave it to you, okay?

              repondre message

          • 29 January 2011 06:58, by Bol Deng

            I say, how many representatives you want to divide among political parties?
            Read between lines dear brother.
            Thanks

            repondre message

    • 29 January 2011 07:19, by saban John

      south sudanese,

      you are not intelligent enough, you should have appointed light skin people to draft and review the contitution. putting dark skin people to decide for us is what is putting us down and we will continue to fail if we don’t assess and arrest the situation amicably.

      this is my serious advice.

      repondre message

    • 29 January 2011 07:21, by saban John

      south sudanese,

      you are not intelligent enough, you should have appointed light skin people to draft and review the contitution. putting dark skin people to decide for us is what is putting us down and we will continue to fail if we don’t assess and arrest the situation amicably.

      this is my serious advice.

      repondre message

      • 29 January 2011 07:26, by Nhomlawda

        Saban John,

        Constitution review is not done through skin but brain.
        Did you wake up drunk? Come online when your beer level had gone down a bit.

        repondre message

      • 29 January 2011 10:40, by Victory

        saban el-bashir,

        you have proved your foolishness in this early hours of the day,constitution is done throught the mind not skin,please rename your self other wise the curs will follow you.

        repondre message

      • 30 January 2011 06:25, by ak-47

        saban jonh
        listen my friend, you are not totally from south you are just another jealous northerner. your jealousy is promoting us as we always ignore it. please congratulate southerners for their new country, unlike north which is full of gays and where the homosexual is practice at mosques. south will be free from all these dirt! and i will say good luck to north wait and will will see in couple of months. omar is goin, south is going, and abiey is going. what good is coming to north? i can see JEM,SLA, and alot of coups!
        please leave us in peace.
        sudantribune in no longer hosting northerner from now

        repondre message

    • 29 January 2011 08:04, by Nyieth-Aguthon

      Well done John Luk!

      You have clearly provided and stated the purposes of the Select Committee. Some people special leaders on the opposition side of government were trying to creat false picture but failed in the process.

      The major problem of our politicians is that they often view every concern under narrow-minded lens of political expediency and ethnic leaning. However, it is good to enjoy and embrace one culture but reasoning along it would destroy the new nation prospect.

      What is more is that thing are changing and South Sudanese are sober and wise enough to read between the lines. South Sudanese hope and aspirations need to be made genuine. John, Consult with those of Gordon Buay and explain to them the reason why the committee was formed so that they stop crying.

      The peaceful and transparent referendum for South Sudanese and the entire world to adopt a new nation was a big milestone in the globe history, therefore Southerners need to be proud of it because this is an achievement. This time is trnasformational movement. Anyone who wanted to become a president of South Sudan over night should not make it beacuse it is a process step by step.

      repondre message

    • 29 January 2011 21:36, by Sala Gai

      Dear Minister

      You have to understand the ways of tribes they ways the do thing in their traditional activities not to convince each activities as you things of it

      repondre message

  • 29 January 2011 05:49, by DOOR

    I think Gordon Buay should make a second intercourse with the communique to ascertain and acquaint himself with it.
    Thanks Hon. John Luk Jok.

    repondre message

    • 29 January 2011 06:54, by Gatwech

      It is not about strictly reading the communique! To me, it is more about how do we possitively supplement the communique for the greater unity and political stability in the South.

      SPLM/GOSS is very lucky that opposition parties in the South want to work with the government. And that positive attitude by the opposition parties should not be allowed to slip away by selfish behaviors.

      In some other countries, opposition parties always want to remain in active oppostion and work to bring governments down.

      In the South (thanks God) it is the opposite. Why would we choose to be unwise and reject their extended hands to us. And for your information I am SPLM member and had been a red-army soldier in Bilpam. I can tell you how Bilpam looks in perfect details, starting from where the airstrip was near that small river called nyigol. The hospital near the airstrip to West of it; the office of Chigai Atem (former administrator of Bilpam), to the north-east of the airstrip, etc.

      I was one of those selected to welcome John Garang whenever he came to visit Bilpam, with the daughter of late Elijah Hon Top as our best singer.

      Please, I know the SPLM/A from inside out, don’t think I am a stranger in this movement. Let us think positive on the issues that can make this new country a politically stable and economically prosperous nation.

      I am very glad that we have all voted for separation!

      I hope you have noticed that in my spirit.

      repondre message

      • 29 January 2011 07:15, by Nhomlawda

        Gatwech,

        There is no creditable opposition party in South Sudan and all those you call opposition parties are tribal groupings geared towards dividing our people. All those militia groupings in the name of political parties should be banned and one party system is introduced. After South Sudanese have developed strong patriotism and nationalism, multiparty democracy can be allowed. That is may be after 20 to 30 years from now.
        We are tired of militias and tribal groupings in the name of opposition parties.

        repondre message

  • 29 January 2011 05:59, by Dengcol malual

    John Luk Jok, you are just wasting your time because this man called Buay is an illogical thinker and doesn’t read through the line. his childish political ideological will never benefit anyone in the South. He always make things up without provide any evidence to support his claimed.

    SSDF party will never surface in South Sudan because it runs by inexperience and liars.

    what is the SSDF party stand for politically? if the other political parties in the South Sudan agree with the Minister of Legal Affair and Constitutional, then where was Buay during the Southerners political parties?

    if Buay still dwelling in Canada, then he should go home because you can’t run a political party oversea if you want to make a different in people lives or just shut hell up.

    repondre message

    • 29 January 2011 06:37, by Gatwech

      Dengcol Malual,

      The importance of the issue Gordon Buay Malek Chol was trying to achieve is rightly understood by logical people like myself.

      Buay was calling for the unity of political parties in the South and their joint participation with government (SPLM) in the technical committee which is preparing for the upcoming conference on the constitution. What is wrong with that logic?

      There are more than 23 political parties in the South, and therefore the voices of the two handpicked pro-NCP parties of George Kongor and the other smaller party, both from Bahr el Ghazal, would not be seen to be commenting on behalf of the opposition parties. They are isolated voices.

      Or are you after splitting opposition political parties and then favor some of them?

      My friend, that approach is too dangerous for the stability of the South. You may make it a fun today but tomorrow you can regret it. The wise approach is to involve the political parties in the work that would determine our common destiny.

      The referendum succeeded partly because of their contribution to the process as political parties. Now that the referendum is over, it would be unwise for some of our selfish leaders to think that the opposition parties are not needed at this stage of technical committee. Some of them are more educated and have a sea of knowledge and vision of what a democratic South Sudan should look like.

      Let us embrace ourselves and work together in any step of the way. Don’t fear that the opposition will introduce more democratic changes. It is the road we are all supposed to follow.

      repondre message

      • 29 January 2011 07:11, by Bol Deng

        Gatwech,

        Stop dodging my question.How many representatives you want to divide among 23 political parties?
        Read between lines my dear.
        Thanks

        repondre message

    • 29 January 2011 09:08, by Lokorai

      Dengcol,

      You are absolutely right, this boy with his heavy eye glasses has been undue recognition even by our leaders.

      He doesn’t have anything to show but critical for the sake of it due to the fact that the SPLM didn’t give him any position.

      Gatwech is far wise and reasonable and not this dirty boy from Nuer.

      Lokorai

      repondre message

  • 29 January 2011 06:05, by Anyang

    What’s do you think Gatwech ?

    repondre message

    • 29 January 2011 06:42, by Nhomlawda

      Gordon Buay is still with militia mentality of baseless competition where they used to compete on who to become Al Bashir best dogs.
      Repent and be a true stateman or shut up on South Sudan issues and do your business wherever you are.
      Speaking English does not amount to being a politician.

      repondre message

      • 29 January 2011 07:06, by Gatwech

        Anyang,

        You have asked me "What do you think Gatwech?"

        Well, I thought I have already explained what I think about the issue. If you had read all my comments above, you would have spared us the question.

        Let me just repeat myself below and read it:

        The importance of the issue Gordon Buay Malek Chol was trying to achieve is rightly understood by logical people like myself.

        Buay was calling for the unity of political parties in the South and their joint participation with government (SPLM) in the technical committee which is preparing for the upcoming conference on the constitution. What is wrong with that logic?

        There are more than 23 political parties in the South, and therefore the voices of the two handpicked pro-NCP parties of George Kongor and the other smaller party, both from Bahr el Ghazal, would not be seen to be commenting on behalf of the opposition parties. They are isolated voices.

        Or are you after splitting opposition political parties and then favor some of them?

        My friend, that approach is too dangerous for the stability of the South. You may make it a fun today but tomorrow you can regret it. The wise approach is to involve the political parties in the work that would determine our common destiny.

        The referendum succeeded partly because of their contribution to the process as political parties. Now that the referendum is over, it would be unwise for some of our selfish leaders to think that the opposition parties are not needed at this stage of technical committee. Some of them are more educated and have a sea of knowledge and vision of what a democratic South Sudan should look like.

        Let us embrace ourselves and work together in any step of the way. Don’t fear that the opposition will introduce more democratic changes. It is the road we are all supposed to follow.

        repondre message

        • 29 January 2011 08:05, by Nyieth-Aguthon

          Well done John Luk!

          You have clearly provided and stated the purposes of the Select Committee. Some people special leaders on the opposition side of government were trying to creat false picture but failed in the process.

          The major problem of our politicians is that they often view every concern under narrow-minded lens of political expediency and ethnic leaning. However, it is good to enjoy and embrace one culture but reasoning along it would destroy the new nation prospect.

          What is more is that thing are changing and South Sudanese are sober and wise enough to read between the lines. South Sudanese hope and aspirations need to be made genuine. John, Consult with those of Gordon Buay and explain to them the reason why the committee was formed so that they stop crying.

          The peaceful and transparent referendum for South Sudanese and the entire world to adopt a new nation was a big milestone in the globe history, therefore Southerners need to be proud of it because this is an achievement. This time is trnasformational movement. Anyone who wanted to become a president of South Sudan over night should not make it beacuse it is a process step by step.

          repondre message

          • 29 January 2011 10:17, by Gatwech

            Dear southerners,

            Well, today you are misinterpreting the need for joint work with opposition political parties. If they are tribal groupings or militias, why were they registered in the first place? And is SPLM a tribal grouping. If not, what is the difference?

            Other political parties have membership across tribal lines from all regions. They are not based on ethnicities.

            I know that tomorrow you will come back to your senses late and begin to appreciate the importance of working hand-in-hand with other political parties in the South. You need them!!!

            repondre message

            • 29 January 2011 14:35, by Skank

              Mr Gatwech,

              There are a few if not many of us who would agree with your point of view. We would all come to an agreement that South Sudan needs to adopt a multi-partism in ensuring the unity of all the people. Life doesn’t revolve around SPLM alone; that if someone decides to question its leadership, then you seemed to be "un-Southern Sudanese." Come on people! let’s look beyond the scope. It is your constitutional right to question those representatives above you. This is one of the fundamentals of a democracy that we assume we are (NOT).

              God Bless the Republic of South Sudan (In the making).

              From:
              Aussie: Diaspora.

              repondre message

  • 29 January 2011 15:00, by Obol Sam Gabriel

    Dear southern Opposition leaders,i know some of you are leader angry like the above mentioned Minister,remember your being a political leader make clearly to the entire citizen of this land that you have open mind which will allow you to contribute goods for the betterment of this new nation but if come that you are not on the right truck by giving wrong statement to the citizen.To me i will say right from the day you mentioned such we the citizen of this newly born nation will keep on losing hope on you unless if you go back to seek for advise from UDF,and other parties which consist of wise good leadership otherwise you will remain alone in the party because southern Sudanese are all on one truck. BY OBOL SAM KING COLLEGE LONDON.

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  • 29 January 2011 16:10, by Lokeji

    I don’t know why most of the contributors of this website frequently view Gatwech’s comments on tribal perception, while in most cases the man is offering sound contributions for the well being of our new state.Regarding the review of the constitution, am in line with gatwech, i see there is a need of including other political parties.and i think SPLM is aware of it, thats why they brought in Gabriel changson as a coverage for that.In order for us to catch-up with the rest of the world, there is a need for political inclusion in our new state rather than supporting political individualism.

    repondre message

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