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Sudan’s change forces hand over constitutional proposals to military council

Freedom and Change forces and military council meet at the Sudanese presidency in Khartoum on 27 April 2019 (ST photo)
May 2, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The "Declaration of Freedom and Change" forces in Sudan proposed the formation of a four-year lean government which is made of 17 technocrat ministers but left the door open for discussion on the draft constitutional document it filed Thursday to the transitional military council.

Last week, the military council and the opposition agreed to form a joint sovereignty council but failed to reach common ground on its composition and its powers. Therefore they opted to discuss first a constitutional document for the transitional period before to discuss the composition of its institutions.

On Thursday afternoon, the Freedom and Change forces handed over their draft constitutional document to the military council at the presidential palace.

Also, the Council confirmed the receipt of the draft constitutional text

"The Transitional Military Council announces the receipt of the constitutional document on the institutions and arrangements for the transitional period from the forces of Freedom and Change Declaration and appreciates this move, which will push the dialogue forward," said a statement released in the evening in Khartoum.

"The Council will study and respond to it," further said the statement.

In this version, the opposition coalition reviewed its earlier text about the composition sovereignty council, as it proposes this time that it be equally shared by civilians and military personnel.

The first proposal provides that the sovereign council be composed of 15 members, including 8 civilians.

In a press conference held in Khartoum Thursday, the opposition called for a compromise with the military council on the arrangements of the transitional period.

A spokesperson for the forces of change, Rashid Saeed told reporters that the document amendable and not final.

"We have given it to another party and we are waiting to have its opinion on it," he stressed.

The document, seen by Sudan Tribune, states that the transitional period shall be four years as of the date of entry into force of the Transitional Constitution.

Also, it provides that the forces of freedom and change will form the Transitional Council of Ministers which will consist of a maximum of 17 ministers.

According to the draft text, the government shall determine and conduct the policy of the Nation. In addition, the cabinet will retain the power to declare the state of emergency.

The proposal says that the transitional legislative assembly will be composed from 120 to 150 members appointed by consensus between the signatories to the Declaration Of Freedom And Change.

Further, it says that the forces involved in the change in the membership of the Legislative Council will be represented in the parliament and stress that representation of women shall not be less than 40% of the membership of the chamber.

Coalition member Khalid Omer told reporters that the government would be formed in the presence and with the participation of the armed forces, stressing that they would not be excluded and would be an integral part of any future government.

Another Freedom and Change official, Satai al-Haj pointed out that the proposed text made a breakthrough as the sovereignty council is shared equally between the military and the civilians.

In a separate statement, the forces of Freedom and Change announced the formation of a legal committee to discuss a set of issues including the draft transitional constitution.

Also, the committee set up a vision for transitional governance structures at the legislative, executive and sovereign levels, and listed the laws that should be reviewed, repealed or added in accordance with the constitution Transitional.

The committee held several meetings to prepare the draft constitutional document handed over to the Transitional Military Council, said the statement.