South Sudan in Constitutional Crisis, “No Legitimate President”

Salva Kiir, displays the transitional constitution after forcefully signing it into law in 2011(Photo: Reuters)

Salva Kiir, displays the transitional constitution after forcefully signing it into law in 2011(Photo: Reuters)

July 08, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — As the term of office of President Salva Kiir comes to an end in less than 24 hours without legitimate extension, many politicians in the country believe that the young nation is running into a constitutional crisis.

Despite that Salva Kiir’s popularity has been shrinking following the outbreak of the conflict, in which he is a main protagonist, the citizens and political rivals continued to acknowledge Salva Kiir as the president of the war-torn country, however, such recognition is changing as the 4th independent anniversary approaches.

According to his main political rivals in the opposition, the 4th independent anniversary marks the end of Salva Kiir’s bloody terms in power.

As Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the chairman and commander in chief of the armed opposition, SPLM/SPLA[IO], explains, president Kiir will be officially illegitimate by the midnight of the 8th July, 2015 and the country will have a constitutional crisis.

“President Kiir will be illegitimate, his institutions will also be illegitimate, we will have constitutional crisis” Machar said.

Machar believes Salva Kiir would forge his ways forwards using unconstitutional amendments for which he urges the people of South Sudan to arise and resist such attempts.

“He is trying to force people to accept the unconstitutional amendments they did to the constitution, we resist that” he reiterates.

“This is the time that the people of South Sudan should think otherwise […] They should make their voices heard so that the world knows that this man is illegitimate. He has imposed on the people of South Sudan. He has prevented the people of South Sudan from conducting elections ” Machar explains.

The SPLM/SPLA in Opposition calls on Salva Kiir to resign and allows a caretaker president to take over to lead the country to peace.

“First of all, losing legitimacy this is an important departure. The rest of the world has been telling us this is an elected president, this is an elected president” Machar remarks.

“In actual fact, Salva Kiir should resign and a caretaker president comes in, who will bring about peace” Machar says.

According to Dr. Machar, the national legislative assembly, and the states governments and assemblies should have been dissolved by the end of March to allow 90 days for free and fairs elections to be conducted.

Dr. Machar believes that the extension of term of Salva Kiir government is unconstitutional for it was extended by unconstitutional national assembly.

“By our laws there should be 90 days for elections to be conducted and the results declared, and a new president elected, and new governors, new national legislature, and new state assemblies.” Machar said.

“We understood that the government extended its lifespan. This we did not recognize because it is not in the constitution and they also used an assembly which its life has expired by the end of March” he recalls.

“We should have had a president by the 21st of May, which was the day when Salva Kiir was inaugurated. That day we should have had a president elect and by the 9th that president should have been inaugurated” Machar said.

Many government supporters, who do not acknowledge the extension of the government’s term, argue that the regime should have conducted the elections despite the intense battles in the three states of Greater Upper Nile.

On the contrary, Salva Kiir’s government has been battling economics crises, withdrawal of investors, inflation, depletion of foreign reserves, currency depreciation, oil shutdown, repayments of loans, hunger and fall of oil prices in the world market among many other imminent concerns.

In addition, the country has lost many foreign relations as South Sudan continues to dominate the ranking of most volatile, insecure and failed states.

The United States, Uk, Norway and allies have stood against the extension of lifespan of Salva Kiir’s government and instead continued to push for a transitional government of national unity that would bring a lasting peace to the country.

The South Sudan Peace Talks, mediated by the IGAD-Plus and funded by the TROIKA, will resume in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, toward the end of July.

In other reports, the government will introduce new coins that feature Salva Kiir during the independent anniversary in Juba, South Sudan.

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