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Draft constitution of the Republic of South Sudan released

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April 24, 2011 (KAMPALA) – The draft South Sudan transitional constitution says the president of the republic will serve for four years starting from 9 July 2011.

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The draft constitution of the Republic of South Sudan

South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly to secede from the north in January 2011 referendum provided by 2005’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended two decades of north-south civil war. South independence from the north will be celebrated on 9 July 2011 in according to the CPA.

The term of office for president and vice president is also four years in the US.
Following the confirmation of independence early this year, the president of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS), Salva Kiir Mayardit, formed a committee to work on a constitutional text. Last week, the minister of legal affairs, John Luk Jok, handed the draft of the proposed Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan to President Kiir.

President Kiir will study the transitional constitution before it is forwarded to Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) for approval.

According to part two of the transitional constitution and article 100, “The tenure of the office of the President of the Republic of South Sudan shall be four years, commencing from July, 2011.”

The transitional constitution also defines the parliament of Juba after inauguration of the Republic of South Sudan in July this year as being composed of the current members of SSLA and members of parliament currently representing southern Sudanese in Khartoum. Cabinet ministers in Khartoum will be members of South Sudan parliament without a voting power, the proposed constitution noted.

It states that although “All indigenous languages of South Sudan are national languages” English will be the “official working language of the Republic of South Sudan”. For many people in South Sudan Arabic is currently their lingua franca.
There is an emphasis in the document upon the “decentralized system of government” which will afford greater power at the state level. It also described the establishment of independent Relief and Rehabilitation; National Anti-Corruption; Demobilisation, Disarmament and Re-integration; HIV/Aids; and Human Rights inter alia commissions.

The Bank of South Sudan will be responsible for the production of a new currency which will “reflect the historical and cultural diversity of the country”
On the controversial subject of Local Justice, subject of a recent report produced by the Rift Valley Institute and the US Institute for Peace, “Legislation of the states shall provide for the role of Traditional Authority as an institution at local government level on matter affecting local communities.”

The document states that the National Legislature will be made up of the National Legislative Assembly and the Council of State.

The territory of the Republic of South Sudan comprises "the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms transferred from Bahr el Ghazal Province to Kordofan Province in 1905 as defined by the Abyei Arbitration Tribunal Award of July 2009", emphasizes the draft constitution.

Sovereignty of the Abyei is controversial as it in the borderlands between north and South Sudan, it is oil-producing and fertile land and the ethnic origin of its inhabitants is a matter of dispute. Controversy surrounds the inclusion of Misseriya tribal group in a delayed referendum which will decide area’s future. The nomadic Misseriya, who are associated with north Sudan, spend part of year in Abyei, where the Ngok Dinka resides. Tensions in the area are rising as the military presence increases.

(ST)

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  • 25 April 2011 06:56, by Angelo Ajiech Manyuat

    Democracy oyee! Come back rebel generals and those who support such unruly behavior & exercise your right through ballot box instead of seeking power through bullet. In fact, Democracy is what we were fighting for 22th years without giving up.

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    • 25 April 2011 07:28, by junub

      I don’t think our drafted constitution was done to retreat back any militia general into our army or government. They are criminals and they should be let to face justices for the lives of our beloved compatriots they murdered.

      For giving of those who killed innocent South Sudanese should not be linked with democracy but the church, if one wants to buy the illusional live after the death. Because of our religionness that why traitor Riek Machar is seeing himself as smartest to have walks away with the crime of genocide he enflicted in Bor in 1991, and again to supported militia Athor and Gadeet, all militas, from within our GoSS government.

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      • 25 April 2011 08:00, by Quol Quot

        Child Abduction by Murle from (Bor, Anyuak, Mundari, Eastern Equatoria and Lou Nuer) is violation of the constitution article 13. Article 13 of the bill of rights says: "Slavery and slave trade in all form are prohibited. No person shall be held in slavery or servitude." It falls into slavery and human trafficking. This will result into the next wave of attack on Pibor, and Likwangile like what happen in March 2008. Either it has stop or anarch will follow and after the GOSS will just collapse which is only a threat to those in higher positions. watch and see.

        At this point I advocate for the collapse of the GOSS. I fought and suffered and yet I am still suffering......What is it for me or my family?

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        • 25 April 2011 08:10, by Quol Quot

          Down Down Down with GoSS.

          If you need a job, give George Athor a call at 955 100 100.

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          • 25 April 2011 08:26, by Dinka Dominated SPLA

            Quol Quot
            Who are you to call for the Goss to collpse?
            Any by the way when did Dinka Bor became the enemy for south sudan?
            Hope Bor poeple are the backborn of south sudan and the SPLA/M,
            I am not from Bor but I have to give the credit to where it belong or to the owner of the legacy. and i hope Mr Quot Quol that there is no one related to you that had being killed in the struggle for the freedom of south sudan.
            I am doubt that you are Dinka Bor,

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            • 25 April 2011 08:41, by Ahmed Chol

              Things look fine. The word COMPETENT has been over used in the constitution. It is appearing almost in every line of the constitution. Some school rules need to be observed in order to avoid REDUNDANCIES and academic immaturity. In some schools, the writers of the constitution have just committed an academic sin. I don’t know why it happens under the watch of the "Dr."

              Ahmed Chol, whatever begins in anger ends in shame

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        • 25 April 2011 08:12, by Mr. Truthteller

          Don’t praise the book by its cover. It is yet to be opened wide and scrutinized by those who have brains.

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        • 25 April 2011 08:13, by Mr. Truthteller

          Don’t praise the book by its cover. It is yet to be opened wide and scrutinized by those who have brains.

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        • 25 April 2011 08:18, by amon

          @Quol Quo

          Not only abduction of children but taking someone’s daughter by force as a wife is also slavery as well. There were many Equatorians ladies who were taken away by force as wives to soldiers during the time of war and that should also be considered as slavery. They are currently now living in the neighboring states in a slave-like style.

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      • 25 April 2011 11:16, by Mr. godfather master of reality

        useless government of Dinka’s
        the real south Sudan government will come
        and will put together people constitution

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    • 25 April 2011 09:35, by Nhomlawda

      I have skimmed through few articles of interest in this constitution but this constitution seems like it is not addressing all key issues. Look at this quote from the vacancy of the president’s office.
      “If the office of the President of the Republic falls vacant prior to the conduct of the general elections, the post shall be assumed by the Vice President pending the filling of this position, within fourteen days from the date of the occurrence of the vacancy, by a nominee of the political party on whose ticket he or she was elected”.
      This statement legally means if the president’s office is vacant, it shall be assumed by vice president and within 14 days the ruling party will meet and nominate the president – that new president might be vice president if he comes from the ruling party and get support of its members or another nominated member of the ruling party depending on the party internal deliberations. South Sudanese head to elections for many reasons – some people elect president because of his/her political party but others elect their president based on character and performance. Therefore, this succession arrangement may not satisfy majority of South Sudanese should that scenario happened. Another scenario is that if public is outraged by ruling party and the president resigns as a result, any replacement from the ruling party whether vice president or a new nominee will be illegitimate and this will give a sufficient ground for power hunger military officers to declare power takeover from a civilian government.
      I support presidency powers to be assumed by the speaker of the SSLA should president’s office fall vacant and within 90 days presidential elections be held. Retaining presidency within executive is not a good idea especially if the office of the president becomes vacant due to public protest like in Egypt.
      Another issue not address by the constitution is the citizenship of the state – I mean the smaller state within the State of South Sudan. Some members of South Sudan society are deprived of services and rights in some states simply because they don’t belong to the original tribes of those states. E.g. in Juba, non CES tribe members cannot or can hardly get job in CES offices regardless whether he or she is a third or four generation born in Juba. This needs to be addressed in the constitution or bill needs to be introduced quickly to put segregation to stop.
      These were just two issues within three minutes glance of the constitution but I think there are more mistakes in this constitution if one reads it all.
      South Sudanese should be given a period of two weeks to read the constitution and contribute better ideas to be incorporated into the final document.

      Nhomlawda

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      • 25 April 2011 17:52, by Quol Quot

        this statement is a prelude to assassinations because Vice president may kill the president like Hosni Mubarak did in Egypt in 1981.

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    • 25 April 2011 09:37, by Nhomlawda

      I have skimmed through few articles of interest in this constitution but this constitution seems like it is not addressing all key issues. Look at this quote from the vacancy of the president’s office.
      “If the office of the President of the Republic falls vacant prior to the conduct of the general elections, the post shall be assumed by the Vice President pending the filling of this position, within fourteen days from the date of the occurrence of the vacancy, by a nominee of the political party on whose ticket he or she was elected”.
      This statement legally means if the president’s office is vacant, it shall be assumed by vice president and within 14 days the ruling party will meet and nominate the president – that new president might be vice president if he comes from the ruling party and get support of its members or another nominated member of the ruling party depending on the party internal deliberations. South Sudanese head to elections for many reasons – some people elect president because of his/her political party but others elect their president based on character and performance. Therefore, this succession arrangement may not satisfy majority of South Sudanese should that scenario happened. Another scenario is that if public is outraged by ruling party and the president resigns as a result, any replacement from the ruling party whether vice president or a new nominee will be illegitimate and this will give a sufficient ground for power hunger military officers to declare power takeover from a civilian government.
      I support presidency powers to be assumed by the speaker of the SSLA should president’s office fall vacant and within 90 days presidential elections be held. Retaining presidency within executive is not a good idea especially if the office of the president becomes vacant due to public protest like in Egypt.
      Another issue not address by the constitution is the citizenship of the state – I mean the smaller state within the State of South Sudan. Some members of South Sudan society are deprived of services and rights in some states simply because they don’t belong to the original tribes of those states. E.g. in Juba, non CES tribe members cannot or can hardly get job in CES offices regardless whether he or she is a third or four generation born in Juba. This needs to be addressed in the constitution or bill needs to be introduced quickly to put segregation to stop.
      These were just two issues within three minutes glance of the constitution but I think there are more mistakes in this constitution if one reads it all.
      South Sudanese should be given a period of two weeks to read the constitution and contribute better ideas to be incorporated into the final document.

      Nhomlawda

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    • 25 April 2011 10:47, by harry

      Dear Southerners,

      Well, why S P L A , instead of South Sudan Army (check the duties of the president of S.Sudan in the Constitution) appeared in the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan?

      Why did the Constitution reference North Sudan as "Sudan" relative to border sharing?

      Why South Sudan adopted English to be official language other than "no official language"? Thanks, feed me back please...)

      Harry,

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  • 25 April 2011 07:04, by junub

    Strongly pleased and in support of our constitution of defining the four years tenure as a limit for our presidency before she/he go to election again for option of re-electing.

    Now it’s upto Peter Gadeet and his alike mind retarded militia thugs, that our current GoSS government will further governs for another four years before it go into election again in 2016. To heck to their two years suggestion for an election.

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  • 25 April 2011 07:10, by Akuma

    Thanks to Southern Sudanese people who offered themselves to write down the New Nation Republic of Southern Sudan constitution in order to govern them.

    They government should not violate the constitution when it is used to ammended it again. Let make Southern Sudan to the examplary to the Africa country in exercising democracy.

    Dr. Akuma,
    USA

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  • 25 April 2011 07:19, by MADIT MAJAK CHOL

    Great Job for those people who put this constitution together. I am 100% agree for President will serve for 4 years for one term and two term should be 8 years period. This is a good start for new nation with new laws.

    Happy Easter to you all!!
    Madit

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  • 25 April 2011 07:37, by Jeti

    Constitution well drafted. Thanks Pres. Kiir Mayardit and John Luk for approving and releasing it. Now, it’s a chance for every dog in the South to try his/her luck to contest for presidency comes 2015.

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  • 25 April 2011 08:04, by Augustino

    Dear all and happy easter to every one, I am sure all south sudanese will be most happy in their future if they follow their starting characters. Thank to John Luk with his team for the greatest job they did for our country. the challenge now remain with our preseident to show us that he is working for the befefits of the people of south sudan and not for commanders who are corrupt and food minded.
    new light oyee.
    augustino

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  • 25 April 2011 08:06, by Madina Kebir

    It sound very lovable for Southern Sudanese to set up the term limit which is one of things that, are important.

    On the languages determination and the constitution of the land of the ROSS. I think the GOSS maybe thinking to ask many Southern Sudanese people such as what lanuage do we will be familar in order to begin constructed while, the two Foreigns languages will just be use for the time being.?

    Every nation have to have their own close language even though, the citizens don’t spoke it must be practices and the people have to get use of it. The language that, sound familar and people hear all the time a cross the nation that is what Southern Sudan government must find and hiring most quailfies to constructed even when it take 10 years to do that, GOSS must begin to do so because it would be a foolish Idea to have no Official language within the nation define and claim you.

    In the mid of 1991 and 1992, Omar al Bashir asked the qualified Dinkas teachers to teach Dinka language in Khartoum Universities and he was telling others none Dinkas in North Sudan that, he realizing how important of Dinka language is and particular during the civil war, one of the biggest success for the SPLA/SPLM Movement was the Dinka language.

    Obviously, the selected language it does not need to be one of majority however, it is so important to use the language that, is not too complicated and too confusing but let me suggesting Dinka language to be Southern Sudan Official language. I know a lot of different Sub-Dinka starting from Rek, Aggar, Twic Gogrial, Jeng of Yirol, Jeng Bor, Ngok Upper or the whole al Nile regions, Malual. All these are spoken Dinka languages and the only easy one is Rek Language which claim to be originally from Tonj County. Rek language in Dinka is the one that, seem to be use during the civil war as it was been said, by the late Dr. John Garang and I think when it come to finding language in Dinka then, Rek of Dinka has no confusion unlikely to the others like Aggar, Nogk, Jeng Bor,Jeng Yirol, Jeng al Nile region as well Twic Bahr al Ghazal and MALUAL.

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  • 25 April 2011 08:07, by amon

    Yeah! but the presidential term of four years is short and it will be a source of another controversy because each president will attempt to change the term after assuming office. Five years term will be the best for us at the moment, this is according to me. Even Obama is complaining now that four years term is not enough for change that he had promised.

    Do we need to compare ourselves with the Americans at this time? There democracy is mature and their people are well civilized then ours and they understand democracy better than us here. We have not seen Algor,John Kerry and McCain rebelling after losing in the elections. So, let’s start slowly until we grow into full and mature democracy.

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  • 25 April 2011 08:10, by Mr. Truthteller

    Don’t praise the book by its cover. It is yet to be opened wide and scrutinized by those who have brains.

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  • 25 April 2011 08:20, by Liberator

    Transitional constitution

    I’m charging the Drafters of this transition for re-writing and reproducing a copy written document produced by this author a couple of months ago. way to go! is it federalism or parliamentary system? you can’t tell the way it’s written!!

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    • 25 April 2011 09:26, by maduel Anok

      Dear Readers

      By Drafting the consitution of the Republic of South Sudan is the first achievement in the right direction if stated constitutional articles herein are put to good use.

      The Government needs to put more emphasises to respecting and imposing these constitutions and it must begin from those corrupt officials from the government’s heirachy.

      During the inception of SPLM, the council drafted the constitutions to guide the movement, this let to the lost of lives who were accused of breaking the agreed principle of the set constitutions/objectives of movement.

      In the same way, effecting the current constitution needs full allegance to the country’s constitution.

      Any violation by anybody whether government offical has to be punished inrespect to the law he/s has broken..

      In this Spirit, the new nation will be rattled peaceful and all the citizens will be law abiders not law breakers.

      Good start for ROSS........

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  • 25 April 2011 10:00, by Nhomlawda

    I have skimmed through few articles of interest in this constitution but this constitution seems like it is not addressing all key issues. Look at this quote from the vacancy of the president’s office.
    “If the office of the President of the Republic falls vacant prior to the conduct of the general elections, the post shall be assumed by the Vice President pending the filling of this position, within fourteen days from the date of the occurrence of the vacancy, by a nominee of the political party on whose ticket he or she was elected”.
    This statement legally means if the president’s office is vacant, it shall be assumed by vice president and within 14 days the ruling party will meet and nominate the president – that new president might be vice president if he comes from the ruling party and get support of its members or another nominated member of the ruling party depending on the party internal deliberations. South Sudanese head to elections for many reasons – some people elect president because of his/her political party but others elect their president based on character and performance. Therefore, this succession arrangement may not satisfy majority of South Sudanese should that scenario happened. Another scenario is that if public is outraged by ruling party and the president resigns as a result, any replacement from the ruling party whether vice president or a new nominee will be illegitimate and this will give a sufficient ground for power hunger military officers to declare power takeover from a civilian government.
    I support presidency powers to be assumed by the speaker of the SSLA should president’s office fall vacant and within 90 days presidential elections be held. Retaining presidency within executive is not a good idea especially if the office of the president becomes vacant due to public protest like in Egypt.
    Another issue not address by the constitution is the citizenship of the state – I mean the smaller state within the State of South Sudan. Some members of South Sudan society are deprived of services and rights in some states simply because they don’t belong to the original tribes of those states. E.g. in Juba, non CES tribe members cannot or can hardly get job in CES offices regardless whether he or she is a third or four generation born in Juba. This needs to be addressed in the constitution or bill needs to be introduced quickly to put segregation to stop.
    These were just two issues within three minutes glance of the constitution but I think there are more mistakes in this constitution if one reads it all.
    South Sudanese should be given a period of two weeks to read the constitution and contribute better ideas to be incorporated into the final document.

    Nhomlawda

    repondre message

  • 25 April 2011 10:50, by harry

    Dear Southerners,

    Well, why S P L A , instead of South Sudan Army (check the duties of the president of S.Sudan in the Constitution) appeared in the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan?

    Why did the Constitution reference North Sudan as "Sudan" relative to border sharing?

    Why South Sudan adopted English to be official language other than "no official language"? Thanks, feed me back please...)

    Harry,

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    • 25 April 2011 16:50, by Nhomlawda

      Harry, there is no country call North Sudan but Sudan, it is South Sudan politicians who are stupid to call our new nation South Sudan knowing very well there was no North Sudan.

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