Home | News    Monday 3 January 2011

Sudan’s constitutional court lacking quorum to decide on referendum challenge


January 2, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudan constitutional court is unable to decide on challenges before it relating to the upcoming referendum due to the absence of three judges from the bench, Sudan Tribune has learned.

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A group of lawyers walk out of the constitutional court after delivering papers as part of their legal bid to halt a referendum on southern Sudanese independence, in Khartoum on December 12, 2010 (AP)

One of the three judges was appointed to be chief justice in Southern Sudan and as such his position has remained vacant.

The other two, also from South Sudan, left right before Christmas holidays and never returned back.

Most believe the oil-producing south will secede in the vote, which was built into the 2005 north-south peace deal that ended Africa’s longest civil war. The northern ruling National Congress Party (NCP), which wants unity, has accused the south of manipulating the voter registration which ended on December 8.

A handful of legal challenges were made against the South Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) and the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) alleging violations to the voter registration process for eligible Southerners.

Among the arguments put forward by the group that the referendum law stipulates that registering the voters and finalizing the lists should have been completed three months prior to the vote. Because the Sudanese national assembly has not passed any amendments to the current law and thus the voter registration process should be deemed unconstitutional.

Last month, the Constitutional Court agreed to look into one of the motions it received and asked for the SSRC to respond by December 26th.

But to decide on the case, seven of the court’s nine judges must be present which under the current circumstances appear unlikely without a change to the law.

Some observers have raised fears that a decision by the court to grant an injunction to temporarily suspend the work of the commission could trigger a violent response by disappointed Southerners who are keen to cast their ballots in the highly emotional vote.

The SPLM accused the NCP of standing behind the lawyers’ appeal to the court tp stall the referendum.


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  • 3 January 2011 09:56, by Kolnyang youth

    Sudan Constitutional court :

    Should not defend itself because of those are absent and why are they absent?
    Dose it mean they are bribe by NCP?
    Notes Sudan government should not delay beyond 09 of January 2011 it may lead to declaration unilateral independent of South Sudan blame should on Sudan constitutional court of appeal if may result into serious battling because Southerners are committed for their independent.


    repondre message

    • 3 January 2011 11:00, by Victory


      Gööd to know that you are back to your sens now by being tribalsim into anti-tribulism..keep it up young man,have a good day in kampala.

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      • 3 January 2011 11:35, by Victory

        Point of correction i meant’tribalism’.

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      • 4 January 2011 01:09, by padiit gaga

        Southsudan will not wait any month or day we must follow CPA camption which was sign infrount of international communities not slimist regim alone. If some people think that the may add other day instead of nine of this month this one must bring problem. South must declare their independent by allmean.

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      • 4 January 2011 10:48, by Kolnyang youth


        I was not tribal man but situation compel people of South Sudan to do so.


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    • 4 January 2011 02:15, by Young Nation

      Dear Northerners,

      The God of the people of Southern Sudan is great indeed. This is why all devious attempts by the North to destabilize the legitimate referendum votes, of which millions of our dear brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers have offered by precious lives.

      It is good that Northerners Sudanese have finally come to their senses following the recognition of their failures. This spirit, if nurtured properly will definitely give brith to positive political, social and economic relationship between North and South Sudans.

      South Sudan NATION Oyee!

      Young Nation is a Student of BA (Internation Relations) at The University of Queensland, Australia

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  • 3 January 2011 11:45, by Peter Mading

    This is a wast of time for Sudan’s Constitutional Court to work on alledged baseless excuses. All Southners are for Independent of the South Sudan whether registered or not registered. Let the NCP and Northners show to the whole world faces of Southners who wanted Unity of Sudan.

    If there are a few faces they will not reach a hundred of them and that is indefinetely a threat to their rights. They are Southner Sudanese and not Northner Sudanese. Please. Do other things and leave this case to Southners to decide on their fate.

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  • 3 January 2011 14:10, by Chanson

    SCC.There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever” Mahatma Gandhi quotes

    That meant the way that Southern Sudan stoned out their realities on secession should not worry you at this position of time.Because it,s too late for you judges to performance anythings against referendum.Bye bye....
    The blessed day is at the doorways.......lets meet on that coming sunday guys.hands up!!!

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  • 3 January 2011 15:19, by Jongkuch

    The case before the Islamist court was not against the SSRC but the people of South Sudan. However, we have no case to answer,after all.It was just a piece of rubbish that needs to go to the garbage bin forever. Let them go to court after Jan 9, 2011.


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  • 3 January 2011 15:39, by Deng E. Manyuon

    Happy New Year to all Participants of Sudantribune forum.

    I wish this year that our country will enjoy ever lasting peace and stability.
    For eligible voters the choice is on your hands. I am confident if not 100%, the majority of us have the same choice. The choice to vote for secession. It is the only way to honour those who paid the ultimate price for the sake of freedom, equality, justice and dignity.

    Regarding Sudan’s Constitutional Court failure, it was expected to fail. The only parties who could have significant impact on the overall Referendum process are the SPLM and NCP according to the CPA and Referendum Act.


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  • 3 January 2011 16:48, by kaci-banno

    Dear readers
    nothing can make people worry about whatsoever court bring against SSRC because The Bible say, if you tell the truth, the truth will liberate you and other verse say, if you dig a hole for your brother, you will be the first person fall to that hole before your brother. Anyway what I want say, the hole NCP dug for us to fall, he will fall to that hole before us because we are in right position.

    By Kaci-Ma-banna

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  • 3 January 2011 18:23, by omoni Atari

    If sudan had/has constitutional court that can challenges the upcoming referendum and people’s right,why did they ignored Darfur’s right?
    So if it doesn’t works now then let them swift to most wanted man in the world AL Bashir commander of gangs
    If there is law in in sudan, then people should be killied like insects acorss the entire region.
    They just came with this nonsense in order to create or consifcate our voting results.
    No way for you, we dont care how intelligents you are!!!!
    we are still remained committed in our road track.

    repondre message

    • 3 January 2011 18:25, by omoni Atari

      point of correction:people should Not be killed.

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