'Democratic Transformation' is an important phrase introduced by the CPA into the post war parties and government politics in the Sudan. Indeed, it is a crucial clause on which the growth, the sustenance and the survival of the CPA, the EPA, the DPA or any other peace agreement in future will depend on. However, it is accompanied by so many conditions, the most fundamental of which is the promotion of human rights and civil liberties that have found their way into the interim constitution of the Republic of the Sudan.?
This phrase has become a catchword in the rhetoric of politicians today, especially the SPLM cadres. Of course, this is a commendable change but will it transcend speeches and public relation addresses, so that it can embrace and point at concrete practices by individuals, interest groups, multi-parties partners or coalitions, opposition parties, and government with all its horizontal and vertical levels?
For this phrase to signify meaningfulness, it should be understood and implemented without selectivity or exceptions. The term ?democratic? is an adjective derived from the noun ?democracy?, which is originally a Greek term coined from two words: ?demo? which refers to the people who are legalized as citizens, and ?cratia? which refers to the mode of rule. If we put it literally, it would read as 'people?s rule.' An American renowned democrat, Abraham Lincoln, expanded this literal meaning and defined 'democracy' as ?the rule of the people by the people and for the people.? What he has missed in this broader philosophical definition is the most important proposition ??with?. If a government fail to rule with the people, then the people will not see themselves as its owners or stakeholders. A government which is not owned by the people (even if it imposes itself on them by force) will never proceed very far in its life span. History of mankind is full of examples and evidences where kings and dictators fated into doom when they tried to rule the people without involving them in the decision and policy making forums for the public affairs. Therefore, any leader who ignores and jokes with the people in a democratic systems plays with a fire that can consummate him or her in the contemporary political arena.
The definition of democracy which we have clarified above contain ideals or ?what?, democrats or ?who?, and procedures or ?how?. Talking of or selecting any one of these elements in exclusion of others puts a big question mark on a genuine democratic transformation. From my humble insight, I see that there cannot be authentic democratic transformation in Sudan without the directory of these ideals and values: Dignity of every citizen, Common good of all the citizens, Respect for minority rights under the majority will, Freedom for all the people who are not guilty of any crime, Justice to all based on the rule of law and constitutionalism, Truth from all leaders and people, Reconciliation by all from the bitter past memories, Integral development of the people without marginalization, Participation of the citizen with inclusive involvement in government affairs, Economic subsidiarity to the hardworking poor citizens, Solidarity with the needy citizens, Integrity with the environment so that it is preserved for future generations, and Peace within and among all the Sudanese citizens and with their neighbours. Also these ideals can remain in papers or in public relation's rhetoric if there are no democrats to bring them down to the concrete ground; that is, if there are no people and leaders whose mental framework has been equipped to realize democratic transformation with concrete examples. But again these democrats would never yield and harvest any fruit if they fail to follow the appropriate procedures of democratic transformation ? free and fair campaigns for elections, consultations, consensus, unrigged ballots, consent of the people and etc. ? for ascending peacefully to legitimate government power and authority.
Now, when I try to put SPLM into this democratic transformation standard, many elements tend to be unfitting into its politics and practices, except on the rhetoric perspective. This anomaly is common in Southern Sudan where SPLM is the majority and has the upper hand in government (GOSS, States, Counties, Payams, and Bomas). I am not saying that other parties (like NCP, UMMA, DUP, SSDF, etc.) are immune of these mismatches in democratic transformation. The best and updated example can be seen in the subsequent unconstitutional reshuffling decrees, in which H.E, the president of GOSS and the SPLM Chairman, Mr. Salva Kiir seems to be good at this year in some States of Southern Sudan. He has been usurping the constitutional powers of Southern States governors. Instead of advising or authorizing them to issue reshuffles decrees for their States as stipulated in the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan and in the constitutions of those States, he does it himself in Juba, instilling fear everywhere on those who survive only on those political positions. Though what he does in the name of fighting corruption and inefficiency in government is good, yet it is not right as far as democratic transformation and the rule of law is concerned for Southern Sudan.
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