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Opposition parties’ alliance accuses S. Sudan’s Kiir of violating constitution over 28 states


October 5, 2015 (JUBA) - The national alliance of major South Sudanese political parties have accused president Salva Kiir of violating the country’s constitution by unilaterally creating 28 new states, questioning constitutional and legal basis for issuing the order.

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President Salva Kiir speaks during the inauguration of the new SPLM premises in Juba on 15 November 2013 (Photo Moses Lomayat)

President Kiir in his order he personally read out on Friday, 2 October, on the state owned South Sudan Television (SSTV), asserted that creation of more administrative units was long overdue. He argued that he could not do it on time as he himself and his government were busy with issues that had to do with self-determination’s referendum which resulted to independence of South Sudan in 2011.

“This was not because my government and I were not interested in devolving such powers to you, including finances of the country, but my administration in the center was busy with issues connected to your right for self-determination, such that you become free and sovereign state,” said Kiir, who was flanked by information minister and other key ministers in his administration as he read out the order.

“Now indeed you are free and sovereign state. Therefore, there is no reason for me to retain your constitutional right for self-governance, self-reliance, self-development and determining your future through free, fair, and transparent and democratic elections in three years to come,” he added.

The head of state further added in his concluding statement as he was leaving the podium on which he read out the order: “Now you have the opportunity to develop your locality, home villages, through the mobilization of your local and state resources… There is no any other better time to do this than now.”

His order has however sparked debate and objection between proponents and opponents, with some of his critics describing it as illegal and unwarranted while his supporters hailed it as a bold decision.

Speaking during an exclusive interview with Sudan Tribune on Monday, Martin Aligo Abe, Secretary General of the national alliance of political parties said he was surprised by the unilateral decision of the president which created and divided the country into “tribal and clan type” states without complete regard to legal and constitutional basis.

“I was not watching news broadcast by South Sudan Television and I did not accept when I was told about it because as far as separation of powers is concerned, the president has no power to create states or counties. It is work of the council of states. The creation of states is the competence of the parliament. There is no article in the constitution which gives the president such powers,” said Abe.

Lam Akol, the leader of the alliance of major political parties in the country pointed out that Article 101(f) talks only about constitutional amendments initiated by the president and does not give the president a power to create more administrative units.

“It was a provisional order which the President said was effective as of 2nd October. The Constitution also stipulates that it is the Council of States that initiates legislation on decentralization (Article 59(a)),” he said.

He explained that provisional orders cannot be issued on matters affecting the Bill of Rights, the decentralised system and cannot be issued when the National Legislature is in session (Article 86(1)).

“Article 162 stipulates that the number of states is ten and that state boundaries, their names, their capitals, may be changed except by two-thirds majority in the Council of States,” he further explained.

The top opposition leader said the president’s unilateral order was a clear violation of the transitional constitution of South Sudan, 2011.


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  • 6 October 2015 00:35, by Augustino

    What does Lam Akol know about the constitution of South Sudan? This is a right decision. It’s up to him to go to Shiluk and ask for his share there

    repondre message

    • 6 October 2015 05:15, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

      Opposition parties are barking dogs in a country but they should not bark at a regular visitor. Riak did it & appointed governors but no barking heart. Let’s not take opposition for always disturbing our govt by the name of opposition. The quation to the govt is where are resources to develop these new states?

      repondre message

      • 6 October 2015 09:04, by Mr Point

        Lam Akol correctly points out that Kiir’s decree is a clear breach of the constitution Article 162.

        Kiir has broken the Constitution that he signed. Kiir has broken the Peace Agreement that he signed. Kiir Is out of control.

        South Sudanese people can not trust Kiir to provide freedom and constitutional government.

        repondre message

    • 6 October 2015 08:21, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      if Lam was complaining for the creation of 28 states,which i do beleive it will help fast development in to northwestern part of upper nile state his home land,what next should be to make south sudanese in peace

      repondre message

    • 6 October 2015 08:22, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      if Lam was complaining for the creation of 28 states,which i do beleive it will help fast development in to northwestern part of upper nile state his home land,what next should be to make south sudanese in peace

      repondre message

  • 6 October 2015 05:22, by Uncle J

    Being critics to Salva Kiir is making Lam Akol a useless politician in South Sudan politics, in order to be a popular opposition party leader Lam must starts supporting Kiir otherwise he will remain useless

    repondre message

  • 6 October 2015 07:38, by Akuma

    Lam Akol and his alliances should stop shouting but to accept the decision and begin mobilizing their resources to develop the states they belong. Lam doesn’t know anything about South Sudan transition constitution because he never vote during referendum so he should quite in South Sudan’s affairs

    repondre message

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