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Constitutional amendment team seeks review of peace timelines

Author : | Published: Thursday, April 13, 2017

The National Constitutional Amendment Committee has recommended that the peace partners should consider amendments to the peace agreement because some timelines have been over taken by events.

The chairperson, Gichira Kibara, said the amendments should be done with a view to harmonize the peace agreement with the realities on the ground.

He spoke to reporters in Juba this morning while presenting the draft of the Transitional Constitution to the Minister of Justice.

Mr. Gichira said the committee includes main provisions of the agreement into the draft through consensus.

“The committee did most of its work through plenary meetings. Decisions were by consensus and were consensus was not immediately achievable; the issue would be differed for further discussion in a later meeting. Through this approach, the committee was able to go through all the provisions of the constitution and produce a marked up copy of the proposed amended constitution for concurrence of all members. The proposed changes were then professionally incorporated into the bill that we are handing over today.

NCAC notes that while the incorporation of the Peace Agreement was being undertaken, some of the timelines have been overtaken by events. The committee recommends that that the parties to the agreement consider some amendments to the ARCISS (or addendum) with a view to harmonizing the peace agreement with the realities on the ground,” Gichira Kibara said.

Mr. Gichira said the main provisions of the draft include power sharing between the President and the First Vice President, the inclusion of key political groupings in the governance, and power sharing among parties.

Other areas include the expansion of the national legislature, the permanent constitution making and elections 60 days before the end of the transitional period.

The Minister of Justice, Paulino Awanawilla, received the draft transitional constitution.

He said the agreement still overrides the constitution whenever there is a contradiction, and said the draft might not need discussion by the parliament.

“We also know that if there is case of contradictions between the agreement and the constitution, the agreement should prevail. This is being observed by both the executives and the national legislation but this is also what is happening today – it is the national formality of incorporating the agreement into our constitution swhich I will take it as it is. If there is anything I will do, it is only explanatory note I will attach and I take it to the Council of Ministers and why it will be taken to the assembly is for adoption not for deliberation and other changes. This is my understanding and my interpretations of the situation,” Mr. Wanawilla said

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