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South Sudan national dialogue proposes two-year presidential term limits

November 16, 2020 (JUBA) – The National Dialogue conference in South Sudan has proposed two consecutive five-year term limits for the president, starting the country’s next general elections.

President Salva Kiir attends a session during the 25th Extraordinary Summit of the (IGAD) on South Sudan in Addis Ababa March 13, 2014 (Reuters Photo)

The conference, which started from November 3-17, also endorsed presidential governance system with limits on the president’s powers.

In April 2015, South Sudan parliament voted to amend the country’s transitional 2011 constitution to extend the presidential and parliamentary term until 9 July 2018, with 264 members in favour and a handful opposing it. It was postponed again to 2021 in July 2018.

During the national dialogue conference, delegates appealed to the United Nations, African Union and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to help South Sudan organize elections.

The two-week conference also proposed the creation of 32 or more states to fulfill the legitimate aspirations of people of South Sudan.

It also proposed that the president’s powers to appoint judges be limited to those appointed by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

On the economy, the conference resolved that the country’s financial resources be equitably distributed, with 20% of the net revenues to be distributed to oil-producing states of South Sudan.

Also agreed upon is for the government to focus on agricultural production to avoid over dependency on oil and non-oil resources. Despite the huge agricultural potential South Sudan possesses, only about 5% of arable land is reportedly utilised.