29 August 2014

South Sudan: Former South Sudanese Political Detainees Want 25 Percent Power Sharing

Photo: JC McIlwaine/UN
Thousands of South Sudanese civilians are living in camps under the protection of United Nations peacekeepers

Juba — The former South Sudanese political detainees have unveiled a new negotiation paper, demanding that 25% of positions in the proposed transitional government of national unity should comprise of its members.

In the document, also obtained by Sudan Tribune, the group insisted president Salva Kiir should lead the interim administration and proposed creation of a prime minister's position with two deputies.

The transitional government, the proposal says, should maintain the position of a vice-president.

South Sudan's ruling party (SPLM) under president Kiir, the ex-detainees suggested, be allocated 28% share in the transitional government while its opposition faction ((SPLM-IO) led by rebel leader, Riek Machar be given 27% as other parties take 20%.

Each group, the document says, shall allocate 25-30% seats to women.

According to the former political detainees, those who would take the positions of the president, prime minister and vice president should not contest the upcoming elections.

"The persons who will assume the positions of president, prime minister and vice president shall not be eligible to run for office in the next election", the proposal reads in part, which also recommends the replacement of caretaker governors who replaced elected ones in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes, Unity and Jonglei states.


John Majak, a native of Northern Bahr el Ghazal commended the group, describing their proposal as "reasonable", further saying the political tendency of "winner-loser" negotiations "encouraged victimization, sabotage and exclusion of opponents and competent persons from contributing to the national development agenda".

The politics of inclusion, he told Sudan Tribune, was key to national development and reconciliation, while the practice of political exclusion "posed serious threat to peace and stability, explaining negotiations are about give and take than take all activity".

Majak commended all the rival factions for accepting dialogue as a means to resolving the conflict, saying negotiation was on the way through political differences are resolved world over.

"I know my experience in managing community dispute and peace and conflict resolution as trained person. Negotiations are always associated with tension. They are so tensed and divisive because there are parties usually wanting to maintain or get away with so many powers, and apply to capture state resources and use it to exclude opponents," he explained.

Majak further observed that the current constitutional requirement for appointing public officers in consultation with the Council of States remained "an ineffective way of getting competent people," hence weakening state institutions.

The system, he said, is applied to compensate party loyalists, and antagonize political opponents, leading to "brain drain, marginalization and feeling of exclusion."

We need practical interventions to mitigate the manifestation of negative political culture and attitude fuelling rancour, acrimony, sabotage of state agenda, and political autocracy, he noted.

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