Mediators propose a referendum on states issue

Sudanese mediators have proposed holding a referendum to solve the dispute over the number of states in South Sudan when the independent boundaries commission fails to make its report within 90 days during the pre-transitional period.

According to a revised power sharing proposal , a Referendum Commission will work under direct supervision of the African Union and the regional bloc IGAD and conduct the referendum before the end of the pre-transitional period.

The proposal said the question or set of questions that will be posed in the referendum will be the same for the entire country unless it is decided by the Commission that each state will have different questions.

The revised proposal further said a federal and democratic system of governance in South Sudan will be enacted during the permanent constitution making process.

The responsibly sharing ratio at the state and local government levels, according to the proposed deal, will be 55% for the incumbent government, SPLM-IO 27%, SSOA 10% and other opposition parties 8%.

The proposed power sharing deal provides for creation of five vice presidents, with opposition leader Riek Machar reinstated as first vice president.

The proposal calls for increment of government ministries from the current 30 to 35 and expanding parliamentary seats to 550.

The proposal allocates the position of the country’s parliamentary speaker to the incumbent government with three deputies to be nominated by SPLM-IO, TGoNU and other political parties.

It also allocates the speaker of the Council of States to the SPLM-IO group with two deputies from the incumbent government and SSOA.

The proposal, if accepted by the South Sudan parties, a power sharing agreement will be signed in Khartoum on Thursday.