The Constitution-Making Commission

Dr. Elshafie Khidir Saeid

The independent national commission is responsible for the constitution-making and the constitutional conference is one of the most crucial tools in the transition period. The success in accomplishing its tasks is a major key, if not the only one, to bring to an end the conflicts and civil war in the country, and to lay down the foundations of the modern and stable Sudanese state, with the consent of all its ethnic, regional and political components. In this regard, the plans, programs, details of the tasks, and even the administrative and organizational structure of the commission should be based on the followings:

First, the recognition of the political, ethnic, cultural, religious, levels of development…etc., diversity in Sudan and that the Sudanese are equal in rights and duties based on citizenship.

Secondly, the recognition of the real grievances and sufferings in the marginalized areas.

Thirdly, the main title of the commission’s work is to rebuild the Sudanese state based on a constitution, laws, and governance patterns that take into account the aforementioned plurality.

Fourthly, the Commission should focus on addressing the roots of the Sudanese crisis, the causes of civil war, and all forms of the conflicts in the country, to achieve real peace and to consolidate the unity of Sudan so that it comes voluntarily according to the free will of all the people of Sudan, not imposed forcibly.

Fifthly, the addressing of the roots of the Sudanese crisis means giving answers to the fundamental questions, which have remained baffling without answers, or with premature answers, since the dawn of independence. These questions include:

  • The appropriate system of governance guarantees a fair sharing of power between the various national and regional components of Sudan. This system can be reached through reforming each of the political systems: parties, the electoral system, and the parliamentary practice…etc.
  • The equitable distribution of wealth and resources in a way that removes injustices in the peripheries and the marginalized areas with priority given to areas of ethnic, national, and social tension, within the framework of the scientific economic project that takes into account the non-deterioration of the sites of economic surplus production and the non-exhaustion of the sites and sources of the scientific expertise.
  • To reach a consensus on the issues of the Sudanese identity and the issue of the relationship between religion and the state.
  • To reach a consensus on the national project through the active participation of all sectors of the Sudanese people, under the shadow of democracy and freedoms.
  • To draft an agreed-upon constitutional constant as the basis for the permanent constitution of Sudan.
  • The appropriate mechanism for embodying all the above-mentioned processes and transforming them into concrete action is the national constitutional conference.

The permanent constitution-making process for Sudan is not a purely technical exercise, or just legal formulations, limited to the assistance of the international constitutional jurisprudence experts, but it is the first-degree political process linked to the tasks of establishing the post-independence Sudan state, the tasks that require consensus on a national project that addresses the fundamental issues mentioned above. This is why we stress the importance of the constitution-making commission and its good preparations for the national constitutional conference.

I do believe that the call for drafting the permanent constitution or pushing for the general elections in Sudan before accomplishing the tasks of the national constitutional conference, means our political elites continue to repeat the same mistakes of the past, and confirm their addiction to failure.

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