Gov’t to establish body to nurture democracy

Gov’t to establish body to nurture democracy
SPLM-IO Chairman Dr. Riek Machar Teny (photo credit: Mail & Guardian)

First Vice President Dr Riek Machar has said the Revitalised Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) is planning to establish an institute of democracy and governance as a separate institution from the ministry of parliamentary affairs.

Machar said the purpose of establishing the institution is to make it accessible and more effective for states and political parties to work independently without referring to the ministry of parliamentary affairs when they have discussions.

He was addressing state ministers of parliamentary affairs and legal affairs in Juba on Tuesday in a coordination workshop.

He said the Council of Ministers has already passed a resolution on the establishment of the institution, but said the government has no resources to kickstart the process of its implementation.

“We still have no resources, but it [is a] very important institution that should be established, and as soon as it is established, the better for our democracy. It can be effective in introducing democratic principles into our school practice.’’

“The institute can be assessed and be more effective than being a department; it could be assessed by the states independently from the ministry of parliamentary affairs.” It could be assessed by political parties that want their discussions without referring to the ministry of parliamentary affairs. “

Machar said it is important to introduce a curriculum on the principles of democracy in early childhood education in South Sudan to create a stable and peaceful society.

“If the principles are put into our curriculum, then we will create a peaceful, democratic society. Currently, your ministry will be asked to advocate for that while we are in government. We are in parliament discussing it with the legislators, and we hope that institution comes to light soon”.

The FVP called on the state ministers of parliamentary affairs to collaborate with the executive branch of the government to lobby for resources to fund the establishment of the institution.

“It is one of the institutions budgeted for very small resources. We will [be] looking for resources to support it from the international community and all that, but it is our institution. “

He said it is the mandate of the ministry of parliamentary affairs to ensure that there is multi-party democracy among the different political parties in the revitalised government of national unity.

“I am aware [that] some of you as ministers don’t come from one party. Some of you come from I-TGoNU, from IO, some from SSOA, some from OPP and then when you come from I-TGoNU, you represent the majority party. This is a government of national unity and any of you represents a led government of national unity.”

MORE FROM NATIONAL