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TEXT: Draft of the Sudan Interim National Constitution

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KHARTOUM, May 5, 2005 (Sudan Tribune) — Attached the full text of the Draft of Interim National Constitution (INC). The National Commission for the Revision of the Constitution (NCRC) on Tuesday began its works at the Friendship Hall, Khartoum.

According to the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) the spokesman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Yasser Arman, pointed out in press statement that all procedures for running the works of the various subcommittees have been approved as well as the documents. He said the deliberations would not last more than six weeks maximum before the commission finalizes its works.

Regarding the nature of the State, the draft says "The Republic of the Sudan is a sovereign, democratic, decentralized, multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-lingual State; committed to the respect and promotion of human dignity and founded on justice, equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms. It is an all embracing homeland wherein races and cultures coalesce and religions co-exist in harmony"

On the Supremacy of the Interim National Constitution, the text provides that "This Interim National Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land. The Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan, state constitutions and all laws shall comply with it".

The draft considers as Fundamental Bases of the Constitution the following principles:

a) The unity of the Sudan shall be based on the free will of its people, the rule of law, democratic governance, accountability, equality, respect and justice for all citizens,

b) Religion, beliefs, customs and traditions are a source of moral strength and inspiration for the Sudanese people,

c) The cultural and social diversity of the Sudanese people shall be the foundation of national cohesion and shall not be used for causing division,

d)The authority and powers of government emanate from the sovereign will of the people exercised by them in free, direct, and periodic elections conducted through universal adult suffrage in secret balloting;

The text considers as Sources of Legislation :

(1) Nationally enacted legislation having effect only in respect of the states outside Southern Sudan shall have as its sources of legislation Sharia and the consensus of the people;

(2) Nationally enacted legislation applicable to Southern Sudan and/or states of Southern Sudan shall have as its sources of legislation popular consensus, the values and the customs of the people of the Sudan, including their traditions and religious beliefs, having regard to the Sudan’s diversity;

(3) Where national legislation is currently in operation or is enacted and its source is religious or customary law, then a state, and subject to Article 26 (a) herein in case of Southern Sudan, the majority of whose residents do not practice such religion or customs may:

(a) Either introduce legislation so as to allow or provide for institutions or practices in that state consistent with their religion or customs, or

(b) Refer the law to the Council of States for it to approve by a two-thirds majority or initiate national legislation which will provide for such necessary alternative institutions as is appropriate;

The draft says Arabic and English languages are the official working languages of the national government and the languages of instruction for higher education. Nonetheless the INC provides that all All indigenous languages of the Sudan are national languages and shall be respected, developed and promoted.

For the full text please click on the attched document:

PDF - 482.8 kb
THE DRAFT CONSTITUTIONAL TEXT
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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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