August 2, 2014 (JUBA) – The leader of South Sudanese political parties in the peace talks said it was time citizens exerted pressure on the two warring parties to accept dialogue as an alternative for ending the raging conflict.
“The position of the political parties is that this conflict must be resolved through peaceful dialogue and this is my message to our people. I want them to support peace and put pressure on the warring parties to end this conflict,” Lam Akol, who heads the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC), told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.
Akol, whose party was one of the 18 political entities that issued a position paper proposing creation of the position of the prime minister and the formation of interim government last week, was due to travel as part of the government delegation headed for talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“I am still in Juba because we received a message from the mediation team on 31 of July, informing us of the adjournment of the talks to August 4th. So we will be travel on tomorrow,” he said.
South Sudanese political parties are demanding the creation of a prime minister’s position in the proposed interim government between the country’s ruling party (SPLM) and its rival faction (SPLM-in-Opposition).
The group, in a position paper, said the president and prime minister’s posts shall be occupied by nominees from the rival factions of the SPLM, while the vice presidency be given to another party.
“The president and prime minister shall, respectively, be from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in government (SPLM IG and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO). The vice-president shall be from the political parties other than the two mentioned above,” partly reads the paper obtained by Sudan Tribune.
“The speaker of the national parliament shall be an agreed national figure,” it adds.
The document also recommends formation of a 21-member cabinet and 18 other independent commissions, suggesting the prime minister as head of government, but reporting to the president in accordance with the conduct of government business regulations.
The country’s political parties also proposed a 60% to 40% power-sharing arrangement with the majority going to the governing party and its rival faction. The council of ministers, parliament, state assemblies, and state governments, it says, shall be composed of political parties as follows: SPLM factions 60% and other political parties taking 40%.
It also proposes dissolution of one branch of the national legislature, saying there shall be one national parliament composed of 250 members, while the 10 state assemblies each take 48 members.
Akol, formerly Sudan’s foreign minister, maintained that the proposal of the political parties would also be presented to mediators at the Addis Ababa talks.