Decentralization/Federalism: Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement

Chapter II: Power Sharing (Signed at Naivasha, Kenya on 26th May, 2004)

PART IV

4. Institutions at the State level

4.1 The Institutions at the State level shall consist of:­

4.1.1 The State Legislature;
4.1.2 The State Executive; and
4.1.3 The State Judiciary.

4.2 There shall be legislative, executive, and judicial institutions at state level which shall function in accordance with this Agreement, the Interim National Constitution and, in respect of the states of Southern Sudan, also with the Constitution of Southern Sudan.

4.3 Local Government is an important level of Government and its election, organization and proper functioning shall be the responsibility of the states, in accordance with the relevant state constitution.

4.4 The State Legislature

4.4.1 There shall be a State Legislature comprised of members elected in accordance with the electoral provisions herein and as set forth by the National Electoral Commission referred to in sub-paragraph 2.10.1.1 herein.

4.4.2 Pending the elections referred to in sub-article 4.4.1 herein, the composition of the state legislatures shall be comprised as follows:­

4.4.2.1. The NCP is to hold Seventy Percent (70%) in the Northern states, and the SPLM Seventy Percent (70%) in the Southern states;

4.4.2.2. The remaining Thirty Percent (30%) in the Northern and the Southern states shall be allocated as follows:­

(i) Ten Percent (10%) in the Southern states to be filled by the NCP;

(ii) Ten Percent (10%) in the Northern states to be filled by the SPLM; and

(iii) Twenty Percent (20%) in the Northern and Southern states to be filled by representatives of other Northern and Southern political forces respectively.

4.4.3. The elections referred to in sub-article 4.4.1. herein shall take place on the same date as the elections for the National Assembly referred to in Section 1.8.3.

4.4.4. The state legislatures shall prepare and adopt state constitutions provided that they are in conformity with the National Constitution, the Peace Agreement, and for Southern States, also in conformity with the Constitution of Southern Sudan.

4.4.5. The State Legislature shall have law-making competency in respect of the functional areas listed in Schedules C and D, read together with Schedules E and F.

4.4.6. Members of the State Legislature and the State Council of Ministers, including the Governor, shall have such immunities as are provided by law.

4.4.7. The State Legislature shall decide its own rules, procedures, and committees, and elect its Speaker and other officers.

4.5 The State Executive

4.5.1 Prior to elections the state executives shall be allocated as follows:­

4.5.1.1 The NCP is to hold Seventy Percent (70%) in the Northern states, and the SPLM Seventy Percent (70%) in the Southern states;

4.5.1.2 The remaining Thirty Percent (30%) in the Northern and the Southern states shall be allocated as follows:­

(i) Ten Percent (10%) in the Southern states to be filled by the NCP;

(ii) Ten Percent (10%) in the Northern states to be filled by the SPLM; and

(iii) Twenty Percent (20%) in the Northern and Southern states to be filled by representatives of other Northern and Southern political forces, respectively.

4.5.2 As part of the Ten Percent (10%) share of the NCP in Southern states the two Parties agreed as follows:­

(i) The Governor of one Southern State shall be a nominee of the NCP;

(ii) One Deputy Governor in a different Southern State shall be a nominee of the NCP.

4.5.3 The States' Council of Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor in accordance with the State Constitution, having regard to the need for inclusiveness. The State Ministers shall be accountable to the Governor and the State Legislature in the performance of their functions and may be removed by the Governor on a motion supported by two-thirds (e/3» of all the members of the State Legislature.

4.5.4 The Governor shall, together with the States' Council of Ministers appointed by him/her, exercise the executive powers of the state which shall be in respect of the functional areas listed in Schedules C and D, read together with Schedules E and F, and such other are conferred upon the State by the Interim National Constitution, the Southern Sudan Constitutions, the State Constitutions, and the Peace Agreement.

4.5.5 State Governors must sign any law duly approved by the State Legislature, failing which, after thirty (30) days it shall be deemed to have been signed into law by the State Governor. Where the State Governor withholds his/her signature, he/she must present reasons for his/her refusal to so sign when re­introducing the bill to the State Legislature within the 30-day period stated within. The Bill shall become law if the State Legislature again passes the bill by two-thirds ((2/3)) majority of all the members and the assent of the Governor shall not be required.

4.6 State Judicial Institutions

4.6.1 The State Constitutions shall provide for the establishment of such state courts by the State Judiciary as necessary.

4.6.2 State legislation must provide for:­

4.6.2.1 The appointment and dismissal of State-appointed judges (lay magistrates); and

4.6.2.2 Guarantees of the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and ensure that judges shall not be subject to political or other interference.

4.6.3 State Courts shall have civil and criminal jurisdiction in respect of State, Southern Sudan, and National Laws, save that a right of appeal shall lie as provided in this Agreement.

4.6.4 Notwithstanding sub-paragraph 4.6.3, the National Legislature shall determine the civil and criminal procedures to be followed in respect of litigation or prosecution under National laws in accordance with the Interim National Constitution.

4.6.5 The structures and powers of the Courts of the States of Southern Sudan shall be subject to the provisions of this Agreement and the Constitution of Southern Sudan. 

Implementation History

2005

Intermediate Implementation

The 2005 CPA had provisions for the executive, legislative and judiciary at the state level. This provision was institutionalized by the 2005 interim constitution which was adopted by National Assembly and the SPLM National Liberation Council on 6 July 2005 and came into effect on 9 July 2005.1 The interim constitution’s article 24 provided that the Sudan is a decentralized state with the government at the national level, southern Sudan level of government, and state level of government and the local level of government. The constitution recognized autonomy status of the government of southern Sudan.

There are 25 states in Sudan: 15 in northern Sudan and 10 in southern Sudan. According to the CPA, prior to the elections in these states, the SPLM will have 70% of the positions in the executive and legislative branch of the state government in 10 southern states; and the National Congress Party will have 70% of the positions in 15 northern states. The remaining 20% positions both at the executive and legislative branch were allocated to other parties and groups.

According to the CPA provision, the President appointed governors for 14 northern states on 27 August 2005, and the governor of Southern Kordofan on 20 October 2005. Similarly, ten governors of southern states were appointed on 22 October 2005 by the first-vice president and president of southern Sudan.2 The southern state governments were sworn in December 2005.

No significant development took place in terms of state legislatures and state judiciary. 

  • 1. "The CPA Monitor-Monthly report on the Implementation of the CPA," UNMIS, March 2006.
  • 2. Ibid.
2006

Intermediate Implementation

By 19 December 2006, all of the fifteen Northern states had adopted a Constitution. The southern states had yet to adopt a constitution.3 In November 2006, chief judge of the Supreme Court of Southern Sudan announced the completion of appointments of all judges and justices in the 10 southern states.4

  • 3. "The CPA Monitor-Monthly report on the Implementation of the CPA," UNMIS, February 2009.
  • 4. "New Judges Appointed in 10 Southern Sudan States," BBC Monitoring Middle East, November 2, 2006.
2007

Intermediate Implementation

After much wrangling over the compatibility of the constitution of southern states, all 10 southern states received compatibility certificate and adopted the state constitution by July 2007.5

  • 5. "The CPA Monitor-Monthly report on the Implementation of the CPA," UNMIS, February 2009.
2008

Full Implementation

All states adopted their constitutions. The northern and southern states established power-sharing executive and legislative branches. This confirms the implementation of the 2005 CPA provision on decentralization/federalism. 

2009

Full Implementation

All states adopted their constitutions. The northern and southern states established power-sharing executive and legislative branches. This confirms the implementation of the 2005 CPA provision on decentralization/federalism. 

2010

Full Implementation

In April 2010, there were elections at the state level in which the SPLM candidate won the gubernatorial position in nine out of ten states in the South. In the Central Equatoria State of southern Sudan, an independent candidate won the election. NCP candidates won the elections for the office of Governor in thirteen out of fifteen Northern States. Gubernatorial elections in Southern Kordofan postponed as agreed upon by the CPA parties. In the Blue Nile State, the SPLM won the election. This completes the decentralization/federalism provision of the 2005 CPA as parties moved from power-sharing executive and legislature to the elected executive and legislature with no power-sharing arrangements. 

2011

Full Implementation

Provisions related to federalism/decentralization were implemented. Gubernatorial elections in South Kordofan took place in May 2011 in which the NCP candidate won the election. The result was disputed because the SPLM withdrew from vote sorting and did not recognize the result.6 The result dispute sparked clashes in the area. This issue still is contentious even after southern Sudan’s secession on 9 July 2011. 

  • 6. "Sudan's ruling party candidate wins South Kordofan State governor elections," Xinhua General News Service, May 15, 2011.