Home | News    Tuesday 17 January 2012

Official vows to quit S. Sudan constitutional review body


By Julius N. Uma

January 16, 2011 (JUBA) - A member of the recently appointed South Sudan Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) has vowed he will not up his seat unless proposals advanced by the civil society groups are taken into consideration by President Salva Kiir.

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Presidential Decree No. 03/2012 for the Appointment of full0time and part-time members of the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC)

Samuel Dong Luak, an advocate, was the only civil society member appointed, through a presidential decree issued on 9 January, as part of the 45-member commission. Luak, together with 34 others, will serve as part-time members of the CRC.

The commission is headed by Akolda Ma’an Tier and William Othwon Awer as chairperson and deputy respectively. The duo and six other members have appointed permanent members of the constitutional body.

The establishment of the body comes in line with Article 137 of South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution, which provides for the establishment of an independent National Constitutional Review Commission, within six months of independence.

South Sudan seceded from North Sudan 9 July 2011 as part of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war.

Forming the transitional constitution, which will last until the next scheduled elections in 2015, was a controversial process with many opposition groups pulling out of the process, accusing the ruling SPLM of ignoring their opinions on term limits and other issues.

Senior members of the SPLM - the former rebels who have governed South Sudan since 2005 - also critisiced the transitional constitution for centralising power in Juba and in the presidency.

Addressing a press conference in Juba, the South Sudan capital, civil society alliance members argued that their voices were excluded from the consultation process, prior to the president’s decree. President Kiir, they said, had acted contrary to constitution.

According to Article 202(2) of South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution, “The President of the Republic shall, after consultations with the political parties, civil society and other stakeholders appoint the Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson and Members of the Commission.”

Biel Boutros Biel, the Secretary General of the alliance said the President’s act was “anti-public, unconstitutional and should not go unchallenged.”

The alliance is now demanding that the President issues another decree appointing four more civil society members to the constitutional review body. These four, they say, shall be directly elected by the civil society fraternity, not handpicked by Kiir.

They also demand that Luak, the only civil society representative on the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC), be included as a permanent member of the body, not on part time basis.

Luak told journalist he was unprepared to join the CRC unless the demands of the alliance were met by President Kiir.

“I will not take oath of office as mandated. As civil society members, we need to speak with one voice and in the interest of our people,” he said as other members applauded.

Luak controversially resigned from the South Sudan Referendum Bureau (SSRB), the Juba-based mandated with conducting the vote which saw over 98% of Southern Sudanese chose independence in January 2011. The lawyer was a commissioner in-charge of training.

However, Edmund Yakani, an outspoken civil society activist, has questioned Luak’s motive’s for not joining the CRC. In an interview with Sudan Tribune on Monday, he said it would be very unfortunate if Luak boycotts the constitutional review body due to “personal interests” other than in the interest of the civil society fraternity.

“To me, any decision taken by the civil society is a welcome move provided it’s done in the interest of the majority, not from a personal point of view. If Samuel Dong Luak had vowed never to take oath of office, it’s a welcome move provided it is in the interest of the civil society and not his own interest,” Yakani said.

A strong civil society, he said, is that which advocates for members who represent the majority, as opposed to those who advance personal agendas.

The 45-member CRC, which is mostly comprised of SPLM members as well as other political parties, civil society and faith-based groups will mainly be tasked with two main functions;

  • To keep the law of South Sudan under systematic review by undertaking research with a view to develop, modernise, reform the country’s laws.
  • Carry out research in relation to reviewing of the Constitution, Acts, and other South Sudan laws so as to meet the aspirations of citizens in the nascent country.


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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 17 January 2012 06:16, by Gueth Bidok

    I totally agreed with Luak. SPLM cannot keep other members as scapgoats. Luak surelly knows that SPLM want to put them in as pictures so that when the wrong constitution is passed, SPLM would claim that all party agreed. No, Luak go a head and don’t take an oath but don’t take an arm niether. Sit and know that all Southerners are behind you. You really know how to keep yourself clean sire!!

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  • 17 January 2012 06:23, by George Bol

    Dong Luak has no interest to serve,so I prefer another person to do the job done. Complaining and complaining is always against the success. Let him quit and let have another person.
    We really need strong law against raiders and thieves who steal the properties from innocents.

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  • 17 January 2012 06:23, by Lokorai

    Mr. Samuel,

    You fooled our people when you resigned at that critical phase and don’t know why is the president after this senseless and reckless boy who claim to be advocate.

    I saw that boy in Rumbek; he’s too young, immature and talk anything. Knowing English doesn’t make anyone educated.

    Plse young man, fight like Biel and not to threaten. who do you think are you?

    Many ethokon!


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    • 17 January 2012 06:53, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

      You are tiressome jealusy. Lokoro or whatsoever.
      Why don’t you lat your poor family take you for batter education son?
      death to you, ?? # know more things than you do,
      shame on uncivilesd family who have nothings to eat.

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    • 17 January 2012 07:25, by Joseph

      Lokorai, you are very much right.Unless if there is another Samuel Dong a part from that one having an advocate in Malakia. Samuel what happened to Maj.Gen Chol Tong & the Ugandan man who sold to him useless car of 65,000 SSP? what about me who still have a balance of my money to be paid by the guy who bought my car but did not pay me all? what did you tell me when i demanded for the papers?

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      • 17 January 2012 07:30, by Joseph

        Dong you are the most hopeless and useless advocate i ever found in this world. How can you advice me to do what ever i want to do to him. One day i will do away with him in Juba and you will be answerable for that. Your advocate is nonsense in Juba and sooner that later i will be going media wise. You goon!!! Resign who cares, you greed man.

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      • 17 January 2012 10:39, by Morthon Akol

        comrade Joseph, you are right. it may be something wrong with this guy call Doung Samuel, and also our President use to appoint him always. the question is that is it Doung Samuel is only good advanced in South Sudan? this man it may have a secret agenda. just imagine one person out of 45 members put a condition to the President what that mean guys let as thing will before we make any descision.

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  • 17 January 2012 13:48, by Cadaai ?o?

    Samuel Dong Luak

    Why don’t you just joint in & cast your vote? Voting will determine your really point. You know in politics, nothing always prefect. Majority might be wrong sometimes when they pass thing through votes.Yet, your vote will represent true side later on even though your vote didn’t win your view. It will be in record. Please, I beg you to do your work as it is.Amendment later on.

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  • 17 January 2012 23:13, by Lokeji

    Again we are back to splm rigidity and greed to establish a constitution which makes the south Sudan to be party’s nation that means, a nation that reflects the interest and view of the ruling political party like in Sudan.why should they not learn from ncp mistakes?, such as allowing all walks of parties and associations to help in reviewing the permanent constitution.

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