Addis Ababa Constitutional review workshop must consider enshrining Presidency Term Limit!

By Malek Cook-Dwach, SEPT/12/2015, SSN;

The controversial story of political development in South Sudan has emanated from lack of free democratic processes and indeed it has something to do with constitutional term limits, the notion which becomes the practices and norms in which some African countries fall in the same trap.

With help of technology which brings the world nearer and closer to each other, I thought that such paradox could have been avoided.

This extrovert practice becomes adaptive norm of acquiring wealth and robbing the future resources of the country which endangers and puts the nation at stake.

There are false theories and wrong beliefs claimed by ruling politicians that if they leave power the country will disintegrate, which distorts the basis of transformation and reforms.

Following the international politics and how the people are governed I came to realize that it is not a person who rules that matters, it is only the rule of law that matters.

Contemplating US President Barrack Obama two quotations to African leaders that “Nobody Should Be President for Life,’’ and “Africa doesn’t need strongmen but it needs strong institutions.”

One wonders how the African leaders perceived such quotations in their own minds.

The powerful nations like US have term limits because the law is the law, and no person is above the law, not even the president, Barrack Obama stated, with the same notion African countries could follow these examples put forth by developed countries.

The presidential term limit shows the maturity and fairness in implementing the political ideals in the principled, well structured government set-up purposely meant to serve people in which all parties are allowed to compete in the free democratic atmosphere exercise where citizens are the ones determining who will be governing them.

Term limits provide an important balance on the concentration of power; they strengthen democracy and ensure long-term stability.

Eliminating or unduly extending term limits engenders corruption, which is the main cause of public distrust and significant obstacle to economic development.

Where there is freedom and rule of law, term limits transitions take place as a natural course of events in the democratic system.

Ruling parties are able to cultivate new leadership which can carry on the successful policies of their former leaders, but also correct for the past missteps, term limits offer a periodic guarantee of personnel change and thus enhance the possibility of change of party in government.

The term often used by African politicians is that the future is for young generations while behind doors they are working hard in amending the constitution, renewing/extending their terms when their tenures come to an end.

Such behavior is unbecoming because it deprives the youth sharing in the national cake.

In my humble opinion, I suggest that South Sudan must adopt the term limits in its permanent constitution to avoid falling in the same trap where some African countries have fallen into.

The Author is concerned South Sudanese citizen and Political commentator, reachable at


  1. Dear Malek Cook:

    Time limit,is not a major issue for matters in governing affairs in the country.The matter is lack of foundation for important basic principles for POLITICAL SYSTEM!

    The people fighting country in Sudan since in 1956, FOR POLITICAL SYSTEM! There is nothing else at this point! Until today,Sudan has no POLITICAL SYSTEM AT ALL!!!

    The South Sudanese politicians,blaming the Sudan government in central in north in Khartoum falsely on SHARIA LAW OF SEPTEMBER 9,1983 for Arabzation matter which is not case!

    USA Politics for political government:It is true that there is a limit government in governing the country.But American constitution was written by great philosophers such as John Locke of Great Britain,including their own in the country those of Thomas Jefferson,Alexander Hamilton and other as well! It was done through contributions from God thinkers!

    But in their constitution,nobody will run for presidency for office for power without having a financial background! Financial background must be well vetting before you get help from supporters in the party affiliation

    What is going on in the Sudan government,it needs a constitution to be rewritten! The present constitution, was done only by one brain! John Luk the former Justice who did by himself alone! He gave President Kirr more powers on his hand alone! There are very many issues.They are needing to be talked about in the South Sudan government more POLITICALLY!!!!!!

    Jack County,Missouri,USA

    • johnjerry says:

      Abiko, now you are talking sense.Justice Luk admitted he made a mistake that is OK. A new constitution will be rewritten with the participation of all all groups. All political parties, youth, clergymen and others.One step after another we will get there and achieve our democracy as a nation and as a people.

  2. Dear John Jerry:

    No Youth and Religious people in government political affairs!They should be excommunicate from!.The youth,they are not yet premature in thinking in politics on political issues politically! I am surprising in seeing the South Sudan government when allowing the youth to play a role in government matters in the country in the South Sudan Republic! Again,on religious people as well!

    Jackson County,Missouri,USA

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