JUBA – South Sudan’s presidency has defended the appointment of deputy governors by President Salva Kiir Mayardit after an activist and a member of the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) said president Salva Kiir’s action is a violation of the constitution and the revitalized peace agreement itself.
Wani Michael, an activist and a member of the NCAC said in an interview quoted by the Juba-based Eye Radio that President Kiir’s action to appoint deputy governors is illegitimate saying the governors should be the one to appoint their deputies and state officials urging the peace parties as well as the R-JMEC to declare the appointment null and void.
“What the President did is ……. illegal and should be declared null and void. The governors should appoint their deputies and the state ministers and not the president,” he said. “The President do not have power to appoint state officials, the governor should and the president should only be consulted by the governors, but he has no power to appoint them.”
However, responding to the criticism, President Kiir’s press secretary, Ateny Wek Ateny, defended the action and said the agreement is the most important document given the absence of constitutions at the state levels.
“The agreement made itself sacrosanct, and that if there is a conflict between the provisions in the agreement with the constitution of 2011, the provisions of the agreement will prevail rendering the provisions in the constitution of 2011 null and void if [provision of the constitution] contradicts the provision in the peace agreement,” he said.
Now the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan [R-ARCSS] has been incorporated into the [agreement] of 2011 and all the provisions that contradict the peace agreement have been all deleted and the revitalized constitution is the only document that act as the supreme law of the country,” he added.
He further said the absence of revitalized constitutions at the state level gives the president a prerogative to appoint state officials such as the deputy governors.
“On the other side, the constitutions at the states level have not been reconstituted to incorporate the agreement into the state constitution because the parliament at the states level have not been reconstituted,” he said.
“So the state constitutions of 2011 are not relevant because they don’t recognize the revitalized agreement on the resolution of conflict in the Republic of South Sudan,” he added.
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