The South Sudan law society on Wednesday called on the parties to the 2018 revitalized peace agreement to speed up the constitution-making process which remains sluggish.
“All what we need now from the parties including civil society is commitment towards fulfilling the agenda for elections and constitution making process, the priority should be civic education and public consultation, the voices of the citizens have to be captured in the constitution,” Farouk Ismail Ukach, the Program Coordinator for South Sudan law society said.
He was speaking during symposium on civic engagement organized by civil society facility at Palm Africa Hotel in Juba.
Ukach advised the transitional government to appoint members of the National Constitution Review Commission including the Constitution Drafting Committee.
“We cannot have a perfect constitution as we might think, but we must at least have a constitution that should guide the running of this country through democratic process,” he said.
David Deng, a researcher said that the research done around the upcoming elections show South Sudanese are ready for election, adding a third of the 9000 people they spoke to fear that election may drag the country into chaos.
“We have spoken to almost 9000 people across South Sudan, it is very interesting South Sudanese are ready for election, South Sudanese want to vote soon but there is also fear around election. The time now is to create an environment where people can express their views freely,” Deng said.
Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) said that the government needs to open up civil and political space to win public trust and confidence in the political transition.
“We need to ensure that we respond to priorities of political transition in the country, the end game is through election, our aim also is to communicate to the government that if you keep on controlling civic and political space than the trust and confidence on the political transition is affected,” Yakani said.
The workshop was organized by civil society facility and Mott Macdonald is meant to enhance civic engagement during the extended transitional period, it also touches on challenges and opportunities for civil society organizations’ participation in election and as well civil advocacy.