Amend Constitutions to Recall Powers from President

Dr. Riek Machar Teny speaking at the opening of a three days’ workshop for Ministers of States for Parliamentary and Legal Affairs in Juba on Tuesday (Photo: Philip Buda Ladu)

By Philip Buda Ladu

The First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny said State governments will have to initiate processes of amending their constitutions to incorporate the peace agreement in conformity with what is being done at the national level for the Governors to automatically recall their powers resting with the President.

As per the peace agreement, the President is the only appointing authority responsible for all political appointments of constitutional post holders from the national level to the state and local government levels.

Dr. Machar said the Revitalized Peace Agreement has been partially incorporated into the constitution in the constitutional amendment bill number 6.

He told the State Ministers of Parliamentary and Legal Affairs that once the national constitution amendment is done, the States will be urged to also amend their respective constitutions in order to disarm the President of some of the appointing powers that should have been for the Governor.

“The constitutional amendment Bill No. 6 incorporated the agreement into the constitution. There is amendment Bill No. 7 which reverted the country back into ten States and the Three Administrative Areas” Dr. Machar affirmed.

He said amendment bills number 8 and 9 will be going to the Parliament soon as they have been passed by the National Council of Ministers.

Dr. Machar said the State Ministers of Parliamentary and Legal Affairs will be asked to initiate a process of incorporating the agreement into their State constitutions adding that the quicker the States amend their constitution the better for them.

“Currently the appointments are being made by the President but once you incorporate the agreement into your constitution and to be in conformity with all what is done at the national level, the powers that belong to the State will revert automatically then the Governor can do the appointments of the ministers and commissioners” Dr. Machar stressed.

He said they might be competing with time as they are heading for election which should come when the country has a permanent constitution at the national level as well as the States also. “Once the constitution is done, you (States) might be told to rush also to incorporate or work on your constitution at the State level and we will be competing with time because we want to get to the election and the nation must have a permanent constitution, the States must have constitutions not transitional ones” Dr. Machar said.  

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