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Latest Press Release

STATEMENT AT THE WORKSHOP ON PERMANENT CONSTITUTION MAKING PROCESS FOR SOUTH SUDAN (25-27 MAY 2021)

BY OYET NATHANIEL PIERINO

JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN, MAY 26, 2021 – H.E. SALVA KIIR MAYARDIT, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN,

H.E. ABDALLA HAMDOK, PRIME MINISTER, REPUBLIC OF THE SUDAN AND CHAIRPERSON OF THE IGAD HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENTS,

H.E. DR. RIEK MACHAR TENY DURGHON, FIRST VICE PRESIDENT THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN

HIS EXCELLENCY THE CHAIRPERSON OF IGAD COUNCIL OF MINISTERS, PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORS, MINISTERS, AND GOVERNORS.

EXCELLENCIES AMBASSADORS, REPRESENTATIVES OF AU, UN, EU, TROIKA, CHINA, AND IGAD PARTNERS FORUM.

H.E. DR. ISMAIL WAIS, THE IGAD SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SOUTH SUDAN,

H.E. GENERAL CHARLES TAI GITUAI, THE INTERIM CHAIRPERSON OF RJMEC

HONOURABLES, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PARTIES AND STAKEHOLDERS TO R-ARCISS

HONOURABLE DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

GOOD AFTERNOON!

  1. ON BEHALF OF THE SPLM/SPLA(IO), ALLOW ME TO THANK THE LEADERSHIP OF RTGNU AND PARTICULARLY, HIS EXCELLENCY SALVA KIIR MAYARDIT, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN, AND HIS EXCELLENCY DR. RIEK MACHAR TENY DURGHON, THE FIRST VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC AND THE CHAIRMAN OF GOVERNANCE CLUSTER OF THE REVITALIZED TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH SUDAN, FOR LAUNCHING THIS HISTORIC AND LONG-AWAITED PERMANENT CONSTITUTION-MAKING PROCESS. THIS LAUNCH IS A BIG STEP TOWARDS ENHANCING GENUINE POLITICAL TRANSITION IN THE COUNTRY.
  2. I SINCERELY THANK THE IGAD SPECIAL ENVOY, DR. ISMAIL WAIS, AND RJMEC FOR ORGANIZING THIS WORKSHOP AND PUTTING EFFORTS INTO ENSURING THAT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PEACE AGREEMENT REMAINS ON COURSE.
  1. SINCERE GRATITUDE TO MAX PLANCK FOUNDATION, A GERMAN-BASED RENOWNED INSTITUTE ON CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND RULE OF LAW, FOR ACCEPTING TO FACILITATE THIS WORKSHOP.
  2. I WOULD LIKE TO WHOLEHEARTEDLY THANK IGAD FOR REMAINING SEIZED OF THE PEACE PROCESS IN SOUTH SUDAN AND THE IGAD PARTNERS; AU, EU, UN, TROIKA, IGAD PARTNERS FORUM, C5 COUNTRIES, AND THE FRIENDS OF SOUTH SUDAN FOR THEIR UNWAVERING SUPPORTS IN QUEST OF DURABLE PEACE IN THE COUNTRY.

DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

  1. THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE PROCESS OF THE PERMANENT CONSTITUTION-MAKING FOR SOUTH SUDAN IS A BIG MILESTONE, CRITICAL IN RESOLVING SOME OF THE OUTSTANDING ROOT CAUSES OF THE CONFLICT IN THE COUNTRY.
  • FOR THE PAST SEVENTEEN (17) YEARS, SOUTH SUDAN HAS BEEN GOVERNED ON THE BASIS OF TRANSITIONAL CONSTITUTIONS. THE INTERIM CONSTITUTION OF SUDAN (ICS) (2005), THE INTERIM CONSTITUTION OF SOUTHERN SUDAN (ICSS) (2005), AND LASTLY, THE TRANSITIONAL CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN (TCRSS) (2011). THE COMPREHENSIVE PEACE AGREEMENT (CPA) THAT WAS SIGNED IN 2005 BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE SUDAN AND THE SUDANESE PEOPLES’ LIBERATION MOVEMENT AND ARMY (SPLM/A) HAS BEEN THE OVERARCHING POLITICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS UPON WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH SUDAN HAS BEEN RUNNING THE AFFAIRS OF THE COUNTRY.

  • DESPITE HER INDEPENDENCE IN 2011, SOUTH SUDAN ENACTED A SOVEREIGN CONSTITUTION, WHICH ALMOST REPRODUCED OR WAS MERELY A REFLECTION OF THE EXISTING CONSTITUTIONS. THIS WAS ENTIRELY THE WORK OF A SMALL SELECT COMMITTEE OF THE GOVERNMENT, DOMINATED BY POLITICAL AND MILITARY ELITE WHO SIMPLY DRAFTED A SOVEREIGN CONSTITUTION OUT OF THE PRE-EXISTING ONES.

  • THE PITFALLS IN THE TCRSS (2011) MADE THE GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH SUDAN ESTABLISH THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW COMMISSION (NCRC) IN 2012 WITH THE MANDATE TO REVIEW THE EXISTING CONSTITUTION, TCRSS (2011) IN ORDER TO EFFECT CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS RATHER THAN MAKING A NEW ONE. IT WAS APPARENT THAT THAT PROCESS WAS DESTINED TO ONCE AGAIN EMPOWER THE POLITICAL ELITE TO TAKE THE LEAD OF A CONSTITUTIONAL MAKING PROCESS AND CONSEQUENTLY INFLUENCE ITS OUTCOME. THE 2012 PROCESS OF CONSTITUTION REVIEW HURTLINGLY BECAME PROTRACTED AND ELASTIC. DUE TO A LACK OF POLITICAL WILL, AND INSUFFICIENT FUNDS, THE PROCESS STALLED AND ENDED WITHOUT SUCCESS.

  • THE 2012 CONSTITUTION REVIEW PROCESS IS NOW OVERTAKEN BY EVENTS AND PARTICULARLY, THIS LAUNCH OF A PEOPLE-LED CONSTITUTIONAL MAKING PROCESS, A PROCESS WE BELIEVE, BEGINS TODAY, PURSUANT TO THE REVITALIZED AGREEMENT.

  • I WOULD LIKE TO REAFFIRM THE POSITION OF THE SPLM/SPLA(IO), THAT, A CONSTITUTION IS A PUBLIC DOCUMENT; A SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND; A PRODUCT, AND AN EXPRESSION OF PEOPLES’ ASPIRATIONS AND THEIR SOVEREIGN DESIRE TO GOVERN THEMSELVES IN A PARTICULAR WAY. IT IS NOT A DOCUMENT TO BE SUPERIMPOSED ON THE CITIZENS. A CONSTITUTION IS A SOCIAL CONTRACT THAT CITIZENS MUST PARTICIPATE IN ITS NEGOTIATION, DESIGN, AND WRITING.

  • IT IS AGAINST THIS BACKGROUND, THAT THE REVITALIZED AGREEMENT (2018), UNDER CHAPTER SIX (6), LAID DOWN LANDMARK PARAMETERS THAT SHALL GUIDE THIS PROCESS OF PERMANENT CONSTITUTION-MAKING FOR SOUTH SUDAN, INCLUDING;

    1. THE NEED FOR THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH SUDAN TO LEAD AND OWN THE PROCESS;
    2. THE NEED FOR INVOLVING ALL THE DIVERSITIES OF SOUTH SUDAN IN THE PROCESS; INCLUDING ETHNIC, GENDER, RELIGIOUS, REGIONAL DIVERSITIES ETC.
    3. THE NEED FOR POLITICAL REPRESENTATIONS OF POLITICAL PARTIES AND GROUPS;
    4. THE NEED TO INCLUDE OTHER STAKEHOLDERS INCLUDING, YOUTH, WOMEN RELIGIOUS GROUPS;

    ACADEMIA, PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND TRADE UNIONS; AND PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS; E. THE NEED FOR CREDIBLE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION (DIRECT AND INDIRECT) IN THE PROCESS;

    1. THE NEED TO INVOLVE RELEVANT INSTITUTIONS AND TECHNICAL EXPERTISE TO FACILITATE AND

    SUPPORT THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH SUDAN AS THEY WRITE THEIR CONSTITUTION; AND

    1. LASTLY, BUT NOT LEAST, THE NEED FOR THE PROCESS TO BE OPEN AND TRANSPARENT TO THE PUBLIC;
  • AND WE EXPECT THE GOVERNING LEGISLATION THAT SHALL COME OUT OF THIS WORKSHOP TO ENSURE THAT, THE PROCESS OF THE PERMANENT CONSTITUTION-MAKING BE LED AND OWNED BY THE PEOPLE.

  • DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

    1. YOU ARE AWARE THAT THE PURPOSE OF THIS WORKSHOP IS FOR THE PARTIES TO THE AGREEMENT TO LAY DOWN DETAILS THAT SHALL FORM THE BASIS FOR DRAFTING LEGISLATION THAT SHALL GOVERN THE PROCESS OF THE PERMANENT CONSTITUTION FOR THE COUNTRY. I WOULD LIKE THEREFORE TO HIGHLIGHT THE FOLLOWING;

    1) WE EXPECT THE LEGISLATION TO ADHERE TO THE PARAMETERS STIPULATED UNDER CHAPTER SIX (6) OF THE AGREEMENT;

    2) WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO PARAGRAPH (12) ABOVE, WE EXPECT THE LEGISLATION TO SPELL OUT IN CLEAR TERMS THAT THE RTGNU, SHALL PROVIDE THE REQUISITE POLITICAL, FINANCIAL, AND ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT CRITICAL FOR THE SUCCESS OF THIS PROCESS. THE RTGoNU SHOULD TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY TO PROVIDE FUNDS FOR THE PROCESS.

    3) DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, GOVERNMENT FUNDS MAY BE INADEQUATE OR NEVER COME AT ALL. IT MAY BE SUBJECT TO POLITICAL MANIPULATIONS OR OTHER UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES. WE EXPECT THE GOVERNING LEGISLATION TO INCLUDE SECTIONS ON ADDITIONAL OR ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF FUNDS INCLUDING FUNDS FROM DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS AND FRIENDS OF SOUTH SUDAN, AND PROVIDES FOR A MECHANISM IN WHICH FUNDS SHALL BE INDEPENDENTLY AND PRUDENTLY MANAGED;

    4) WE EXPECT THE GOVERNING LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE FOR THE RECONSTITUTION OF THE NCRC; FIRSTLY, BY PRESIDENT APPOINTING ITS CHAIRPERSON AND DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON AS PER THE RESPONSIBILITY SHARING IN THE AGREEMENT; AND SECONDLY, RECOMPOSE ITS MEMBERSHIP AFTER ADEQUATE CONSULTATIONS AND AGREEMENT WITH POLITICAL PARTIES AND STAKEHOLDERS; THE NCRC SHALL BE SUPPORTED BY A SECRETARIAT RECRUITED ON TECHNICAL GROUNDS AND MERITS; THE SECRETARIAT SHALL COMPRISE PERSONS (NATIONAL AND FOREIGN) WITH RELEVANT EXPERTISE AND HEADED BY THE NCRC GENERAL SECRETARY ELECTED BY THE MEMBERS OF NCRC;

    5) THE MANDATE OF THE NCRC SHALL BE TO INTER ALIA; CARRY OUT CIVIC EDUCATION, PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS ON MATTERS PERTAINING TO CONSTITUTION, REVIEW RELEVANT CONSTITUTIONS INCLUDING THE TCRSS 2011 (AS AMENDED); UNDERTAKE STUDY OF SOUTH SUDAN’S CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERIENCE, INCLUDING AGREEMENTS, COMMON LAW, AND RELEVANT LITERATURE AND RENDER REPORTS TO THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE; THE NCRC SHALL NOT USE INFORMATION SO COLLECTED TO DRAFT ANY CONSTITUTION!

    6) WE EXPECT THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE (NCC) TO BE CONVENED BY THE PREPARATORY SUB COMMITTEE (PSC) AS ESTABLISHED. ITS MANDATE SHALL BE TO RECEIVE REPORTS, DELIBERATE, DRAFT, AND ADOPT THE TEXT OF THE PERMANENT CONSTITUTION. THE NCC SHALL BE THE HIGHEST ORGAN OF THE PERMANENT CONSTITUTION-MAKING PROCESS; IT SHALL ESTABLISH ITS OWN SECRETARIAT.

    7) THE NCC SHALL, APPOINT A CONSTITUTIONAL DRAFTING COMMITTEE (CDC), FROM AMONG ITS MEMBERS, WHO SHALL DRAFT THE TEXT OF THE PERMANENT CONSTITUTION. THE NCC SHALL APPOINT ANY OTHER RELEVANT COMMITTEE TO FACILITATE ITS WORK; THE DECISION OF THE NCC SHALL BE FINAL AND BINDING;

    WE DO NOT EXPECT THE PERMANENT CONSTITUTION TO BE DRAFTED BEFORE OR OUTSIDE THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE;

    9) WE EXPECT THE TEXT OF THE PERMANENT CONSTITUTION TO BE RATIFIED BY THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY WITHOUT ANY CHANGE; AFTER RATIFICATION, WE EXPECT THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY TO BE DISSOLVED, AND REVERT BACK TO LEGISLATURE FOR THE PURPOSES OF AMENDING THE

    NATIONAL ELECTIONS ACT 2012; IN PREPARATION FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS;

    10) WE EXPECT THE TIMELINES OF THE PERMANENT CONSTITUTION-MAKING TO RUN FOR AT LEAST 24 MONTHS, PRECEDING RATIFICATION BY THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY AS STIPULATED IN THE AGREEMENT. THE COUNTING OF THE 24 MONTHS SHOULD COMMENCE FROM THIS WORKSHOP. THIS SHALL ALLOW ADEQUATE TIME TO CARRY OUT CRITICAL TASKS DURING THE CONSTITUTION

    MAKING;

    11) THE PERMANENT CONSTITUTION SHOULD REPEAL TCRSS 2011 (AS AMENDED) UPON ASSENT BY THE

    PRESIDENT OF SOUTH SUDAN, TO PAVE WAY FOR THE DISSOLUTION OF RTGNU PRIOR TO GENERAL ELECTIONS, SIXTY (60) DAYS BEFORE THE END OF THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD;

    DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

    1. WITH THESE FEW REMARKS, I WOULD LIKE TO CONCLUDE BY STATING THAT, WE AGREE THAT THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS DRAFT THE GOVERNING LEGISLATION FOR PERMANENT CONSTITUTION MAKING PROCESS FOR SOUTH SUDAN AND;
  • WE CALL UPON RJMEC TO HOLD A SIMILAR WORKSHOP FOR THE PARTIES AND STAKEHOLDERS TO THE AGREEMENT FOR THE PURPOSES OF VALIDATING THE DRAFT LEGISLATION PRIOR TO ENACTMENT BY THE RECONSTITUTED TRANSITIONAL LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY;

  • I THANK YOU FOR LISTENING AND WISHING YOU FRUITFUL DELIBERATIONS.

  •  

    HON. OYET NATHANIEL PIERINO SPLM/SPLA(IO) REPRESENTATIVE

    PERMANENT CONSTITUTION-MAKING PROCESS WORKSHOP

    25/5/2021

     

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