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Constitution-making body still waiting for fund: SG

Author: Moyo Jacob Felix | Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Chairperson of National Constitutional Review Commission Dr. Riang Yer Zuor. Photo 📸 | Obaj Okuj | Eye Radio. Date 22 January, 2024

The Secretary General of National Constitutional Review Commission said the institution has not received its funding to commence civic education and public consultation.

John Natana Abraham said the budget to the tune of 48 million South Sudanese Pounds has been approved by the Council of Ministers and is yet to be passed by the parliament.

He disclosed the issue a month after the head of Political Parties Council (PPC) said the three electoral institutions had been resourced with sufficient funding necessary for the conduct of elections in December 2024.

“Our immediate task before us is actually to embark on a nationwide civic education and public consultations,” he told the press in Juba on Tuesday.

“At this stage, we are coordinating with our government and also the partners to ensure that funds are availed for our nationwide civic education and public consultation.”

Asked whether the institution will make a new constitution before December 2024 polls, Natana said that will be discussed once the resources are unveiled.

However, in March, the Commission expressed doubts that the permanent constitution-making process will be over before February 2025, citing delays in its implementation.

Natana is therefore calling on the media to help the commission in creating an understanding of the constitution for the people throughout the processes of civic education and public consultation.

“As it stands now, we are waiting for funding from the government because our budget was approved by the Council of Ministers just like the budget of those other electoral institutions.”

“But the budget of around 43 million SSP was supposed to be tabled before the National Legislative Assembly and that has not taken place yet.”

The 2018 peace deal stipulates that South Sudan’s transition to an elected government requires that a permanent constitution be in place six months before the end of the interim period.

With the tenure of the unity government concluding in February 2025, this means the constitution-making process must be completed exactly by August 2024 – just five months away.

However, R-NCRC Chairperson Dr. Riang, said the time left is not enough to make it a people’s driven exercise.

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