Articles and Analysies
They are planning a coup on the constitution. By: Justin Ambago Ramba, MD.
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Jan 14, 2010 - 9:34:14 AM

They are planning a coup on the constitution.


“Selective violation of the constitution in south Sudan in order to approve Kiir’s candidacy amounts to a coup”.


  By: Justin Ambago Ramba, MD.


With my mind back to the old days in the university, whenever it takes long for the senate to endorse the examinations results, the obvious is usually that, the general performance has been very bad. And with every delay draining the patience out of the poor students, the various departments are also busy trying to improve their images by adjusting the scores for those who didn’t do well; otherwise they risk being considered as failures themselves.


SPLM is the only major political party in the Government of National Unity that has not yet declared its presidential candidates for the post-war elections. However of concern is Pa’gan Amum’s statement that has repeatedly appeared in the Sudan Tribune when he said his party would declare its candidates in the next few days for all constituencies and positions the party wants to contest across the country.


“This will include the candidates for presidency in both national and Southern Sudan seats “if the party decides to contest” for such positions. He added.


So far so good, but what sense does the above statement contain and what message does it convey to the public?


It may be understandable that although the SPLM which always prides itself of being ready to run for all the posts , prefers now not to seriously consider the first position in Khartoum, since its top person, HE Salva Kiir Mayardit has practically lost his appeal to all the Sudanese people and particularly so in the north.


But the same statement    also carries the uncertainness as to whether the SPLM will decide to run for the Presidency of South Sudan or not? And should SPLM choose not to run for both presidential posts OR presents a candidate who doesn’t fulfil the 2008 electoral laws or intentionally chooses not to abide with it, what would the general public’s reaction be?


The above questions are posed with the believe that all the south Sudanese citizens are willing to know how their leaders are going around addressing vital issues that obviously are   in the centre of our   collective good.


There was an early concern voiced by one of our energetic young man, Dr. James Okuk, when he wrote in the media discussing various scenarios under which he strongly argued that our incumbent President of south Sudan, who is assume to still have an eye on the post, could be disqualified either by the National Elections Commission or at the Constitutional Court, should he officially opt to contest the elections.


Dr. Okuk specifically in his article titled, “ What if National Elections Commission Rejected Kiir Nomination To GoSS Presidency?, referred to Constitutional Courts decision that he said had overruled H.E Salva Kiir’s ban on the activities of the splinter group , the SPLM-DC, from operating in the SOUTH.


According to Dr. Okuk, the Constitutional Court would find Kiir in breech of its rulings and as such would be considered acting against the Interim Constitutions, deeming him a law breaker so as to say, and eventually his candidacy can be repealed.


Then came the declaration on Monday January the 11th 2010 by President Omer al Bashir to quit as Sudan’s Army Commander in Chief ahead of the April 2010 elections in accordance with the 2008 electoral laws,   after   accepting   the nomination of his party the National Congress Party and other 27 political parties to run again for the Sudanese Presidency.


Al Bashir’s decision to step down from the army is deemed necessary by the law and   it shows leadership by example, and    many sceptics were looking forwards to hear the same step being taken by H.E Salva Kiir, should he intend to run for either the Presidency of the whole country or within south Sudan.

Surprisingly now we are all puzzled by what Dr. Luka Biong Deng, the GoSS’s Minster for Presidential Affairs had to say on Kiir’s intension to retain his military position. Dr Biong was quoted in the Media (Sudan Tribune 14/01/10),   to have ruled out any possibility of General Salva Kiir Mayardit stepping down from the army even if he is nominated as SPLM candidate for presidency.

However as you read this article, Kiir is currently an active army General in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and heads the recently formed military Command Council, composed of more than 40 senior SPLA officers, and also he is the Commander-in-Chief of the army by his being the President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS).

And although Dr. Biong argues that the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan, 2005, stipulates that the President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army however according to the right interpretation of the electoral laws, should Kiir be nominated for GoSS presidency, it goes without saying that to contest the election he must have to step down from the army.

Dr. Biong   however admitted that presently the SPLA Act states that no member of the SPLA can participate in political activities but said, “there will be decisions made within the regulations of southern Sudan”,(ST). Playing about with the regulations as Dr. Biong implies is something that may amount to forgery, and can only be allowed in the famous Animal Farm of George Orwell.

On the other hand there is still enough evidence against H.E Salva Kiir running the elections as an army officer as the Sudan’s national Interim Constitution, 2005, requires aspirant candidates, who serve in the army, civil service and as judges, to first resign from their professions before their candidatures are approved by law and allow them to run for political positions.

But whether these statements pointing to a possible alliance with the National Congress Party (NCP) which may lead to SPLM endorsing the NCP’s candidate, the incumbent President Omer Al-Bashir as sole candidate for national presidency, while turning a blind eye Kiir’s intensions to violate the Interim Constitution and escape unchallenged with the GoSS Presidency while in full military uniform, is left for the days ahead to reveal.

People should be worried about the   way Salva Kiir and his group are trying to bulldoze things as if the Constitution that cost the nation a lot of resources to put together, can just be reduced to a mere paper not worth even the ink it is written in.

No part of the constitution should be allowed to be manipulated or misinterpreted by the SPLM Political Bureau in its futile attempt to impose a military regime in south Sudan before even we see the much anticipated independence. We must all watch out for the” Salva Mugabe” in making, and they shouldn’t be allowed to go away with it.  

Our messages to Kiir and his group MUST be made loud and clear, that we are choosing institutionalism to any narrow partisan politics. As such any party that doesn’t respect our institutions (Army Laws, Court rulings, Constitutions, guidelines …etc), must be told straight on the face and to be held accountable.

There are things that Kiir must accept without much argument, and they are basically to do with laws and guideline, regulations ….etc. when he recently laid off the so-called SEVEN BOR DINKA GENERALS, from the ministry of interior, this should have taught him the lesson that public offices have their rules and people are hired and fired whenever the rules call for that.

Secondly in reference to one of Dr. James Okuk recent article titled” SPLM Command after Kiir candidacy , which appeared in Sudan Tribune (12/01/10), did shed much light on this issue.. And it clearly stressed the fact that the SPLA has a tradition of how vacant posts are to be filled, that brought Kiir himself into office.

We should all be warned that the greed to not only, remain in power, but also to concentrate power on oneself is the shortest cut to corruption. Thus for the proper running of the affairs in an independent south Sudan that we all look forwards to, we must learn, and right now,   to do things the right way.

Let us not forget that even our friends are watching our steps very carefully. And the US government that voiced its readiness to recognize and help the to be Independent State of South Sudan, should that be the choice of the south following the 2011 referendum also expects us to perform better.

“In Southern Sudan, no matter the outcome of the referendum, Southern Sudan must increase its institutional capacity and prepare to govern responsibly, whether as a semiautonomous region within Sudan or a newly independent nation,” Secretary Clinton said in her recent message on the CPA anniversary.

As south Sudanese, we would like to believe that our leadership is indeed inclined to promote a system of governance that will not make a mockery of us.

The statement released by the Presidential Advisor, Ghazi Sulahaldeen Attabani, in which he exposed for the first time that there was a deal reached between his party and SPLM, where they agreed to pass the referenda bills in return for SPLM’s soft stance of the much controversial Security Laws, should be rated as scandalous.

Should Ghazi be telling the truth, then the following statement made by the US state secretary Hilary Clinton who told reporters in Washington on the fifth anniversary of the CPA, flanked by the special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration, where she said, “The NCP therefore must use its executive authority to suspend elements of the national security and public order laws that are incompatible with free and fair elections”.

 “There must be no efforts to restrict freedom of speech and assembly and there must be no prohibitions on peaceful protests.” These very words also need to be directed to the SPLM for its role in the conspiracy and declared motives to undermine the Constitutions.

Given Kiir’s performance in the past four or more years plus his cronies’ persistence to impose him in office so that they can get away with all the irregularities, embezzlement and the countless    illegal acts they were involved in, our people need to maintain their vigilance, and protest an act that is considered in contradiction to the constitution.

No any alliance with the criminals of the NCP can give SPLM a free hand to apply dictatorship, censorship or any kind of totalitarianism in the South, while hypocritically sending opposite messages to the outside world despite the fact that its practice of good governance remains illusive.

Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, M.B, B.Ch, D.R.H, MD. The Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). The party that stands for the independence of South Sudan. Can be reached at either [email protected] or [email protected]

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