AUGUST 21, 2014 (WAU) – A senior member of South Sudan’s ruling party (SPLM) in Western Bahr el Ghazal state has rejected a controversial proposal to create a prime minister to accommodate rebel leader Riek Machar.
- Senior MP Efisio Kon Uguak in the Western Bahr el Ghazal capital, Wau, on 21 August 2014 (ST)
Speaking to Sudan Tribune on Thursday, Efisio Kon Uguak said the proposal is unconstitutional and should be discarded.
“An attempt to create [a] post of prime minister, which is not in the national constitution is a contrary act towards [the] national parliament,” said Uguak, a former a former deputy governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal and member of the SPLM’s National Liberation Council (NLC).
According to Uguak, the president’s powers are limited to the creation of a second vice-president position.
He said that Machar could potentially be appointed in this role for the sake of peace and to allow a conducive atmosphere for national elections to decide the country’s next president.
As a political power struggle was at the root of the current crisis, he called for the immediate implementation of a power-sharing agreement between the two warring parties to restore peace and stability, saying there was no justification for South Sudanese people to continue to die at the hands of their own people.
Uguak has accused Machar of undermining the signing of a lasting peace deal with the South Sudanese government, as peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, continue to stall.
“If Machar needs to be a president of [the] people of South Sudan through [the] people of south Sudan, [he] should lay down his weapons … and turn to peaceful dialogue to determine his ruling style,” he said.
The South Sudanese government and pro-Machar rebels have been engaged in an armed struggle since mid-December last year when a political dispute within the SPLM turned violent, reigniting tribal tensions across the country.
The conflict has killed thousands and displaced more than a million people, many of whom have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries.
Meanwhile, Uguak has called on the South Sudanese government to protect its citizens from ongoing rebel attacks, describing those who continue to violate a ceasefire agreement signed in January as uneducated and lacking respect for human life.
Uguak also denounced public demands for the introduction of a federalism system of governance in the country, saying a review should first be conducted into current efforts to decentralise power.