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Sudan abolishes elections for state governors


November 3, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese minister of presidency affairs, Salah al-Din Wanasi, on Monday deposited new amendments to the 2005 transitional constitution into the national legislative body, which allows the president to appoint and dismiss state governors.

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A general view shows members of the Sudanese National Assembly holding a meeting in Khartoum (AFP)

On Thursday, Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir demanded the national legislative body comprised of the parliament and the council of states to conduct a comprehensive review for the experience of the decentralised governance.

He called on parliament to approve necessary and urgent amendments to some articles of the constitution, acknowledging the existence of wrong practices in the implementation of the decentralised governance.

He said the wrong practices led to the use of regionalism and tribalism as means to gain access to position of power at the expense of competence and citizenship.

Wanasi said that Bashir’s initiative to amend the constitution comes within the framework to review the decentralised government experience.

He said that elections of states governors have shown strong tribal and regional sentiments, saying that competition for the office reflected some practices lacking transparency and credibility.

The minister further said the decentralised governance experience led to conflict of powers between the various levels of governance, pointing to problems it caused to investment particularly with regard to land ownership.

He denied the amendments would jeopardise rights of states legislative councils, emphasising that the presidency is keen to ensure equitable representation of the states and create harmony among various levels of governance.

Meanwhile, the national legislative body has begun deliberations on the speech delivered before it by Bashir in the beginning of its tenth and final session on the public policies of the state.

The MPs stressed that dialogue is the only available option to resolve national issues, calling for the need to pay attention for education and scientific research.

They underscored the need to amend some laws to comply with the requirement of the current period, pointing to the important role played by the states’ legislative councils on legislation and oversight over the executive bodies.

Last week, the head of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) legal secretary, al-Fadel Haj Suleiman, told Sudan Tribune that the leadership office will discard the party’s nominees for governors in the next year election and recommend that the president of the republic appoint state governors rather than elect them.

He advocated the move, saying it “does not break the principles of democratic governance because an elected president can select the governors who are accountable before elected regional assemblies that can recommend relieving them”.


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