20 April 2011 – The technical committee formed to review Southern Sudan’s interim constitution submitted a draft to the regional government in Juba today for further discussion and approval.
The draft and its recommendations, formally handed over to Government of Southern Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit, will be discussed by the region’s political leaders to ensure that necessary views are included.
A 21 January presidential decree established a technical constitutional review committee to amend the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan 2005 (ICOSS) and prepare a transitional constitution to meet the requirements of an independent and sovereign state.
“We have done our preliminary part as requested. The draft amended interim constitution shall be known as the ‘Transitional Constitution of South Sudan (TCSS) 2011’,” said Committee chairperson John Luk Jok, who is also the Minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development.
Technical amendments to the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan will serve as foundation for the permanent constitution of an independent Southern Sudan, set to be officially announced on 9 July.
The review process was interrupted by disagreement, with some parties walking out for what they claimed was a lack of broader involvement, but a subsequent presidential decree appointed others to continue the job.
Mr. Jok noted that five out of 46 political party representatives had withdrawn on 17 March, in addition to one that had left previously.
“Those left contributed positively and in a productive manner in the deliberation,’ Mr. Jok said. (They) maintained a high degree of objectivity.”
GoSS President Salva Kiir thanked the committee and affirmed his commitment to share the TCSS with all political parties and council of ministers before approval.
The council of ministers and representatives from southern Sudan political parties will deliberate the TCSS. The final draft of the transitional constitution will be presented to the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) for approval before 9 July.