The Parameters Of A Democratic Constitution In South Sudan

By. Isaac Yak R. Tutdel,

South Sudan, Constitution cover image.

March 12, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- CHAPTER VI of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan outlines the parameters of the forthcoming Permanent Constitution for the country. The fundamental principles agreed by the parties to the agreement includes the followings;

  1. Supremacy of the People of South Sudan;
  2. Initiate a Federal and Democratic system of government that reflects the character of South Sudan in its various institutions taken together, guarantees good governance, constitutionalism, rule of law, human rights, gender equity and affirmative action;
  3. Guaranteeing peace and stability, national unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of South Sudan;
  4. Promoting peoples participation in the governance of the country through democratic, free and fair Elections and the devolution of powers and resources to the states and counties;
  5. Respecting ethnic and regional diversity and communal rights, including the right of communities to preserve their history, develop their language, promote their culture and expression of their identities;
  6. Ensuring the provision of the basic needs of the people through the establishment of a framework for fair and equitable economic growth and access to national resources and services;
  7. Promoting and facilitating regional and international cooperation with South Sudan;
  8. Committing the people of South Sudan to a peaceful resolution of national issues through dialogue, tolerance, accommodation and respect of others opinions.

No doubts, the above principles set the purpose of government, limits on governmental powers, the means of the timing of elections by which government bureaucrats and legislators shall be chosen, the intrinsic rights of the people, and the relation of the national government to other lesser levels of government.

Central government should be mindful of a clear division of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the government. More restrictions should be placed on the actions of the police, intelligence services and military to circumvent any lawful political meddling. The agreed federal system must meaningfully preserve significant prerogatives for the states, counties and locals levels in the interest of preserving the democratic system and impending tyrannical trends.

Rushes in concluding the coming constitution should be discouraged. More time and thought is required! Popular consultation and equitable participation ought to be ensured. Drafters of the new constitution are expected to exercise cautions about including in the constitution assurances that later might prove unbearable to implement or provisions that highly sanctioned central government because such provisions can facilitate and breed autocracy. Universal fundamental rights, as enshrined in various International Treaties must unequivocally be adhered to.

The language or wordings of the constitution should be easy and simple so that it is understood by the majority to evade language cartel by lawyers and few bests. The new constitution must protect the rights of generations and also remind them of their duties as responsible citizens.

The author is a Ph.D. Candidate at China’s University of Petroleum-Beijing Academy of Chinese Energy Strategy18 Fuxue Road, Changping, Beijing, 102249, China. He can be reached via: or Mobile: +86-13521718451/+86-13521718451

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