Opposition Groups Reject IGAD Proposal
Members of the SPLM-IO delegates (photo by Jale Richard)
By Jale Richard in Addis Ababa
The main South Sudan Opposition parties have rejected the new “bridging” proposal on power sharing and security arrangement unveiled by IGAD yesterday.
The main armed opposition, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition of Dr. Riek Machar said it rejected the proposal which he described as “rewarding the government.”
The proposal dubbed Bridging Proposal on Outstanding Issues in South Sudan gave the government 55 percent share; SPLM-IO 25 percent, South Sudan Opposition Alliance 10 percent, other political parties 20 percent, former political detainees 5 percent, and political parties under the government 5 percent.
In the states, the government has been proposed to take up to 65 percent, the SPLM-IO 25 percent, and other political parties given 10 percent. IGAD also proposed for 42 ministries in three clusters and 15 deputy ministers.
In the parliament, IGAD proposed for increase of the parliament by 40 members. The parliament will be reconstituted by maintaining the 332 members as at 15th December 2013, and additional 108 to be appointed with the SPLM-IO taking 70 seats, and other political parties taking 38 seats.
In the Executive, IGAD proposed for three vice presidents. TGoNU will nominate the president. The FVP is to be nominated by the SPLM under Dr. Riek Machar, the Vice President to be nominated by TGoNU, and the Third Vice President to be nominated by the other political parties.
The First Vice President will oversee the Governance Cluster, the Vice President will oversee the Economics Cluster, and the Third Vice President will oversee Service Delivery Cluster.
Mabior Garang De Mabior, the Chairperson of National Committee for Information and Public Relations of the SPLM-IO said the new proposal rewards the government and punishes the opposition.
“We have rejected the proposal because it does not reflect the views which we had in our proposals. Last time we were told to submit our proposal but when you look at this proposal, it does not reflect the proposal we had. In fact it looks like an agreement on surrender because it has given everything to the government,” Mabior said.
He added that the IGAD proposal “endorsed the current administration as legitimate, it is like they are trying to trick us to legitimizing the government which we reject.”
Mabior said in the rations for the executive, the increase for shares and reduction of shares for the opposition gives more power to the government.
Dr. Lasu Kwaje the spokesperson of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance-comprising of nine opposition political parties said they were not satisfied with the new proposal.
“We presented our position, we are not totally in agreement with what IGAD has presented to us, we are against the status quo, and IGAD has presented to us exactly the status quo,” he said.
However, the government spokesperson Michael Makuei Lueth said if people were to follow what the government had presented, peace would be achieved soon.
“We are in agreement in some parts and we are in disagreement in some parts,” he said adding that the government presented its position on the areas they did not agree on.
He said they did not agree on the parts of removal of the First Vice President, the Vice President, and responsibility sharing.
IGAD called off the forum yesterday to be convened again at a later date.