R-ARCSS deprives Equatoria participation in a People-driven permanent constitution-making process through Peoples’ Constitutional Convention and Constituent Assembly
For Immediate release,
By the Equatoria People Alliance,
March 3, 2021(Nyamilepedia) — Equatoria Peoples’ Alliance (EPA) is dismayed by the statements and utterances of TROIKA countries, IGAD and UN Security Council, urging the parties to the flawed RARCSS and R-TGONU to expedite reconstitution of the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly (R-NLA) for it to commence permanent constitution making and prepare the country to hold supposedly free and fair elections at the end of the Transitional period in 2022.
Under the terms of the flawed R-ARCSS power and responsibility sharing model, the “to be” reconstituted SSLA would comprise of a bloated 550 members Legislature, of whom 330 members are to be appointed by President Salva Kiir for SPLM-IG, and 130 members to be appointed by Dr. Riek Machar for SPLM-IO, which makes a total of 460 members for SPLM party alone. The remaining 90 members are to be shared between SSOA and OPP.
The members of this “to be” R-NLA, would not be “elected representatives” of the people, but political appointees representing specific political groups, and whose members are without a mandate from the people of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr al Ghazal states `and administrative areas. The R-ARCSS does not provide for a Constituent Assembly, neither for Constitutional Conventions in the Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr al Ghazal states and administrative areas to elect their peoples’ representatives to a Constituent Assembly. This is an essential provision that is missing in R-ARCSS but critical for the purposes of permanent constitution making process in which representatives of the people participate in their permanent constitution making process for the newest country in Africa.
The exclusion of the people from direct involvement in the vital permanent constitution making process by way of electing their peoples’ representatives to a Constituent Assembly, is a gross violation of inalienable rights of the people of Equatoria, over 1.8 million of whom are in refugee camps in Uganda, Kenya, Egypt and Sudan and they are not represented by the SPLM IG, neither by SPLM IO. The EPA does not recognize the proposed permanent constitution making process and any election subsequent to it to be legitimate under SPLM-made constitution.
EPA is profoundly dismayed that the international community, TROIKA in particular, IGAD and AU are not standing with the people of South Sudan in their quest to establish their new state on foundations of legitimacy, power and authority that is deriving from the people and from their full participation in their permanent constitution making process for their new state, and to make the constitution making to be people-driven, which R-ARCSS provisions unfortunately do not accord such recognition to.
And by doing so, the opportunity to repair the country’s broken social fabric through a truly people-driven constitution making process would be lost, with the failed and corrupt SPLM leaders being in charge of a Government-driven constitution being made by SPLM. EPA believes this would lead to rigged elections being staged to legitimize SPLM rule and dominance under a new permanent constitution made by them for the country.
EPA, on behalf of the people of Equatoria, considers such permanent constitution making process in our country to be null and void. Equatoria will not participate in a sham constitution and state formation process, one that is without a Constituent Assembly and without Equatoria Peoples’ Constitutional Convention in Equatoria for the peoples’ participation in the permanent constitution-making process that is people-driven, and not Government neither SPLM Party driven with 460 SPLM Party members between IG and IO alone.
EPA calls on the people of Equatoria to stand united in rejection of R-ARCSS bait to their detriment and being denied exercising the right of full participation in a people-driven permanent constitution making. The people of Equatoria would not recognize state formation that is excluding their participation and withhold giving legitimacy or recognition to such state in which they did not participate fully in its permanent constitution decision-making process as a people.
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