Home | Comment & Analysis    Wednesday 27 May 2020

On ’delegation’ and ’succession’ of powers in S. Sudan Presidency:


By James Okuk

As Covid-19 has exposed unexpected gossips and propaganda on power in the Presidency, it is important to clarify technically the key matters of peace so as to avoid dangerous confusion of war. The negotiators and drafters of R-ARCSS did well on this issue.

1) It must be noted categorically that the 2018 R-ARCSS is superior to the 2020 constitution or any other law on the land during the 44-months period of transition from war to peace, and that no South Sudanese politician will last forever in power. Leaders come and leaders go as wisdom dictates. Hence, we have to be prepared when the time of reckoning arrives. No escape and no political immortality. Sicknesses and holidays are real too in political life expectancy. No pretence and no immunity for life.

2) In the best-case scenario, the preparation for delegation of superior powers of the Presidency is clear and straight in articles 1.6.4 and 1.7.4, regarding the temporary absence of the office bearer as declared by the competent authority (not any amateur announcer or forgerarist). These articles apply initially to and by President Salva Kiir and FVP Dr Riek Machar, not the 4 Vice Presidents. If the President is absent temporarily the FVP acts (if he is present). And if the FVP is absent temporarily he delegates one of the present Vice Presidents to act as FVP. If both the President and FVP are absent temporarily, it is only the President to delegate powers to any of Vice Presidents to act as the President while maintaining the original assignment of VP. The 4 Vice Presidents do not have powers to delegate as they don’t have seniority protocol in RTGoNU except if determined by the nature of temporary assignment by the President or the FVP. Very loud and clear.

3) In the worst-case scenario, if a vacancy in the Presidency occurs for any reason, the succession articles 1.6.5, 1.7.5 and 1.8.3 apply for their respective parties to nominate the replacement in accordance with internal arrangements for each party and how it nominates its representatives to government. This is where the ITGoNU with its factions of SPLM and Allies (the National Agenda Parties and some of National Alliance Parties), as recognized in R-ARCSS, would sit to nominate who becomes the successor President, the successor VP for Economic and Infrastructure Clusters respectively. The SPLM/-IO would sit to nominate the successor FVP for Governance Cluster. The SSOA and its factions would sit to nominate the successor VP for Services Cluster. The same applies for FDs and its factions to nominate the successor VP for Gender and Youth Cluster.

4) All the above procedures of delegation and succession of powers have to be conducted under monitoring and witnessing endorsement by the RJMEC. No short cuts.

Dr James Okuk, CSPS Senior Research Fellow and Political Analysts based in Juba.

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