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National Constitutional Review Commission appeals for funding

By Oketayot Santos

The Chairperson for the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC) over the weekend called on the government to urgently fund the commission to start the process for constitution making.

Speaking to The Juba Echo after conclusion of a five days induction workshop for members of the commission in Juba,  Riang Yer Zuor, Chairperson of the National Constitutional Review Commission, said they have passed a number of documents to guide their work and now require funding to start consultations. . 

“We know that we will start from this point to this point but now we cannot say that we will start from this point because the budget of the commission has not yet been approved and we can only set a beginning time from when we will have the resources availed to us” He said

“All that we need to do is to have a beginning point and end point whether it ends in six months or seven months or twelve months is something that we will have to come at when we make the aggregation” Yer said.  

The NCRC Chair appealed to the government to avail resources so as to expedite their work. 

“We know that there is a commitment from the government to fund the process because there is a need for this process to concluded but it needs the resources to be made available and the budget has been submitted, what we are requesting is for the process of approval to be expedited so that we begin as quickly as possible” Yier said.

For his part, Edmund Yakani, Executive Director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) and a member of the commission, said after the concluding the induction workshop, they will be working on outreach program as they were able to adopt action plan on how to reach out to citizens in terms of civic education and public consultation plan.

He said after the induction the commission and its members will work together to design an outreach program and as civil society nothing will yield result out of the plan that they came out with until the government avail the money.

“Am calling upon the leadership of the country to avail the resources for the commission to operate because it is very important and the availability of the resources in adequate and timely manner demonstrate the political will of the leadership for enactment of this permanent constitution” Yakani said  

“As you are aware the permanent constitution is a prerequisite for the conduct of elections in December 2024 so if they really wish to have elections then is essential to finance this commission to rollout the civic engagement” he said.

He revealed that they also discussed the content of the new constitution in terms of what the constitution entails, the question of term limit of the presidency,  the question around federal system, system of governance and  check and balances in terms of independence of the organs of the government, separation of politics and security and defense

He said they have also corrected the language that covers issues related to persons with disabilities by then the constitution called them persons with special needs but now they are called persons with disabilities.

He said from next month the civil society will rollout civic engagement for the citizens to actively participate in the constitution making process.

“We hope that from next month onwards we will be outreaching out to citizens and to engage and as civil society we cannot wait for the commission, we will roll out our civil engagement with the citizens and the citizens should effective participate in the constitution making process” he said.  

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