South Sudan – SPLM’s Pagan Amum takes Kiir to court

Sudan Tribune

August 7, 2013 (JUBA) –  South Sudan Secretary General of ruling party, the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) Pagan Amum has filed a petition in the Supreme Court of the Republic of South Sudan against the president and chairperson of the SPLM, Salva Kiir Mayardit, accusing him of violating the party’s charter and transitional constitution on his rights and freedoms of movement, speech and expression.

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Sudan People’s Liberation Movement Pagan Amum Okiech (Reuters)

Amum who submitted the petition to the supreme court on Wednesday equally took the SPLM party to court for not advising the chairperson against the violations.

On 23 July, Kiir issued a party order suspending Amum whom he accused of insubordination and incitement, among others, when the latter criticized the president’s action of suspending two national ministers, Deng Alor Kuol and Kosti Manibe Ngai.

Kiir formed a committee to investigate Amum, which he rejected, challenging Kiir to use the party structures.

He also issued another party order banning Amum from travelling outside Juba and not to speak to any media.

17 lawyers have signed the petition against the president in defence of the secretary general.

In the petition in which Kiir is referred to as 1st respondent while the SPLM is referred to as 2nd respondent, it accuses the two respondents for infringing on the personal liberties of the party SG.

“The first and the 2ndrespondents are jointly sued for their violation, infringement and contravention of the petitioner’s rights of personal liberty, freedom of expression and freedom of movement under articles 12, 24 and 27 respectively, of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011”, partly reads the petition.

It said the party failed to advise the first respondent to comply with the SPLM constitution which does not provide for restriction of rights and freedoms and to observe those rights as enshrined in the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011.

“The acts and/or omissions of the Respondents to prohibit the petitioner from making any press conference or media, travel outside Juba violates the fundamental right of the petitioner captured in Article 9 (2) and (3), 12, 24, and 27 of the Constitution of South Sudan 2011,” it said.

Amum demands that the Supreme Court declares the act of the party chairman prohibiting him from enjoying his fundamental right and freedom of expression as unconstitutional and a violation of article 24 (1) of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan.

The petition also called on the SPLM to form a committee in accordance with the party’s constitution 2008.

“A declaration that the SPLM’s Constitution has no force of law, and contravention of those provisions of the SPLM constitution and regulations does not create any offence except when the alleged act contravenes provisions of  of any law in force within the Republic of South Sudan”, it said.

(ST)

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