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South Sudan parliament amends constitution but delays more states

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November 19, 2015 (JUBA) – South Sudanese parliament has amended the current transitional constitution, 2011, giving president Salva Kiir powers to create more states, appoint governors but delay the order establishing 28 states.

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South Sudanese MPs stand during a parliamentary session in Juba on 31 August 2011 (AFP)

In a heated debate where opposition lawmakers marched out in protest, three dozen others from Central, Eastern and Western Equatoria states demanded total rejection of the amendments.

The amendment aims to relax the number of states per the constitution as well as allow the president to appoint governors.

Article 162 (1) which fixed the number of states to ten was amended so that “the President may for the purpose of efficient discharge of functions of the government, divide the territory of the Republic of South Sudan into states and other areas in accordance with procedures prescribed by law or provisions of such law as may be enacted by the concerned House of Legislature.”

This is a back-off from the amendment bill tabled in parliament by justice minister last month that sought to insert 28 states instead of ten in the constitution.

Article 164 (1) which defined the current states legislative assemblies, the manner of their composition, was amended to add that other members will be appointed by the president during interim period.

Article 165 which said governors will be elected is amended to say that “may be nominated by the president” in consultations with residents of each state during the interim period.

The creation of more states is now left for members of the council of states, which may decide how many states should be created.

The opposition faction (SPLM-IO) led by former vice president, Riek Machar, said both the order by the president to unilaterally create 28 states and the action by the legislator to endorse them are violations of the peace agreement signed in August by the warring parties on the basis of the current 10 states.

They argued that the future national legislature for transitional government of national unity which membership will include members of the opposition factions will be the body to amend the constitution in accordance with the peace deal.

TRIM PRESIDENTIAL POWERS

The African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan, in its recently released report, said the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan gives the presidency too much power amidst weak institutions and a gap between the judiciary, legislature and the executive. As such, the 318-page report observed, the president’s power to remove some state officials, often without proper controls, was one causes of the instability.

“The Commission recommends that the future Constitution should establish a well-balanced system of separation of powers with adequate checks and balances,” it said.

This, the report noted, should be achieved through empowering and strengthening the capacity of the legislatures at both levels of government; subjecting major executive appointments to legislative approval; strengthening the judiciary (ensuring structural and financial independence from the political branches) and adherence to separation of powers, cultivating a culture of respect for judicial independence and rule of law.

The commission of inquiry has, however, recommended that the appointment and removal of the country’s vice president be subjected to the approval of the legislature.

(ST)

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  • 19 November 2015 21:34, by Developer

    Damn! Cruel war mongar president Salva Kiir is Killing innocent South Sudanese. It means SPLA opposition delegations from Addis Ababa will not return to Juba. There will be another fighting.

    repondre message

  • 19 November 2015 21:57, by Developer

    President Salva Kiir has totally undermined a fundamental pillar of power sharing deals with SPLA Opposition.

    repondre message

  • 20 November 2015 05:05, by Son of Ngundeng

    Good morning yaa balaad jinub.

    We strongly condemned the decision, President need to created a new war which will reached to his own home Warrap.
    And this dam fool decision came from his Jieng Council of Elders, because they don’t need this country to have a good stability.

    Son of Prophet
    New location front line.

    repondre message

  • 20 November 2015 06:25, by Akuma

    Well done our representatives for amending the constitutions and those MPs who march out during the debate should be questions by their people otherwise no tribes or sections who has not congratulates President Kiir on his establishment order of the creation of 28 states. Those who march out are rebels and they must be investigated as their security. Congrats for amendment

    repondre message

  • 20 November 2015 06:31, by Eastern

    First of all, there is no constitution in the Republic of South Sudan so to speak of. It’s all sham and shame!!

    The governance in South Sudan is cattle camp through and through!

    repondre message

  • 20 November 2015 07:25, by hamil

    South Sudan amended constitution are you kidding me? Does South Sudan have a constitution? When was it drafted and put into use? The thugs in this country do not even know what a constitution is; what they amended is a document to make Kiir a brutal, dictatorial, tribal and radical leader. Did I just say LEADER*? Well his term of office expired he is ruling on unconstitutional terms

    repondre message

    • 20 November 2015 08:28, by Redeemer

      Son of Ngundeng & Hamil
      Stop fooling yourselves, once you believe of being a SSudanese
      you believe in that Book that defines SSudan as a country and that Book is what the rest of the world called " Constitution" FOOLS !!!!! I know you guys were busy planning for rebellion on the 9th of July 2011 it was the constitution which was recognized first by the world diplomats.

      repondre message

      • 20 November 2015 08:45, by Redeemer

        Con--- there is nothing surprising you have been denying and working against the effort of the people of SSudan since day one, it was the effort of our elders who managed to convince the fathers and mothers to contribute human beings rather than financing it, we will not hesitate but will continue until you behave like humans. Look even in good times Nuer are rebels

        repondre message

        • 20 November 2015 08:51, by Redeemer

          Lastly, my dear Nuer, disqualify the person but not the country because you will not form a new country when a Nuer man comes to power, it is just a simple reasoning

          repondre message

          • 20 November 2015 09:54, by hamil

            @Redeemer

            I want to summarize your lengthy arguement with the words "CLUELESS & POINTLESS". If you are one of those who rally behind that constitution, then you are a dull oaf are you actually aware that that document you refer to as constitution is a bended piece of crap that seeks undermine the civil rights of the society?

            repondre message

            • 20 November 2015 10:02, by hamil

              Cont...

              Are you aware it is designed to simply apease the minority and not the majority? Are you aware it is not meant to unify the people of South Sudan but to provoke, anger and divide south Sudanese further? Are you actually aware that this thing you call a constitution is a twisted, manipulative and dubious document designed by the dumbest of all people? Shine your eyes mate...

              repondre message

            • 20 November 2015 10:18, by Redeemer

              Hail
              I am not and I will not make a mistake of calling it to be a good constitution but I recognize it because it defines me and it will be subjected to amendment by the good leaders to come until we reached a permanent constitution for our country. if you tell someone that I am a SSudanese and my country has no constitution they will say you are mad

              repondre message

  • 20 November 2015 10:50, by Dengda

    "Hurry!hurry no blesses"
    why MPs hurried things of no immediate need or negative impact? Why amended the constitution at eves of peace agreement implementation? there are overdued bills need to be pass by parliament such as economic reform bill, not creating disputes. The issue of more states is not bad but not a priority and can be resolved after peace is realised. just don’t provoke situation.

    repondre message

  • 20 November 2015 12:55, by Kenyang

    It’s right thing to do, thanks to representatives for time and efforts. It’ll be impossible for anyone, or group including Salva Kiir himself to reverse "established of 28 States."
    If tiny minority can stop it, one can’t see why majority who like it can’t make it happen.

    repondre message

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