World
S. Sudan president reduces deputy's powersPublish Date: Apr 16, 2013
S. Sudan president reduces deputy's powers
  • mail
  • img
President Salva Kiir has withdrawn some powers from his vice president. PHOTO/AFP
newvision

JUBA - South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has withdrawn some powers from his vice president, officials said on Tuesday, clipping the wings of a likely challenger for the ruling party leadership.

Kiir, who has led the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) since 2005, also halted a national reconciliation initiative that had been launched by Riak Machar (down right) and which had been viewed as an attempt to raise his political profile.

The two men were on opposing sides of a split within the SPLM during much of the 1983-2005 civil war that ended after the two factions reunited.

No major rival parties operate in the country that was formed in 2011 when the south split from Sudan in the north, so the battle for leadership of the SPLM is effectively the race to be president. A national election is due in 2015.

A Western diplomat said Machar had indicated he wanted to compete for leadership of the party, and said this had prompted Kiir to act.

A presidential decree issued on Monday withdrew all powers assigned to Machar that were granted at the discretion of Kiir. Those are aside from functions specifically outlined by the constitution. The decree did not state what powers were removed.

"The vice president of the republic shall be restricted to exercise and discharge only his powers," Kiir's office said in an emailed statement.

James Gatdet Dak, the vice president's press secretary, said they were seeking clarification on the powers withdrawn. "We don't know which powers yet, they've not specified," Dak told Reuters.

Since landlocked South Sudan gained independence, it has been struggling to assert control over the nation and provide security and basic services to an estimated 11.4 million people.

The country ranks among the least developed countries in the U.N. human development index.

The Western diplomat said the president's decree may have temporarily flattened the aspirations of the vice president.

Aly Verjee, a senior researcher for Nairobi-based think tank the Rift Valley Institute, said Machar had been jockeying for the top job in the party since his an abortive attempt in 2008.

"I don't think Kiir and Machar have ever seen completely eye-to-eye," Verjee said, commenting via email.

"As the memory of independence recedes into the distance, the unity of the SPLM will weaken, and as with other liberation movements, further fracturing of the party is almost certain in the years ahead," he added.

Reuters

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Israeli strikes kill 32 across Gaza
ISRAELI bombardments in the early hours of Wednesday killed 32 Palestinians in Gaza, including 20 at a UN school, medics said...
Violence soars in Gaza as world pleads for truce
BLOODSHED in and around Gaza surged Tuesday with strikes killing 26 Palestinians, including at least four children, as Israel announced the deaths of five more soldiers...
US President Barack Obama has warned that the future stability of the world depends on African nations achieving prosperity and self-reliance, in an address to youth leaders from the continent....
Second attack by female suicide bomber injures 6 in Nigeria
A second attack by a female suicide bomber outside a shopping centre in Nigeria''s Kano city injured six people on Monday after a similar blast killed three people at a petrol station, police said....
Foreigners urged to leave Libya amid rising violence
EGYPT and several Western states urged their nationals to leave Libya amid spiralling violence after two weeks of fighting left 97 people dead...
Malaysia marks grim Eid after MH17 crash
MALAYSIA on Monday marked a solemn Eid al-Fitr, Islam''s biggest festival, as families of those aboard downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 mourned the dead...
Should voters be given poer to recall their MPs?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter