Democratic Change Party
The DC Party Constitutional Crisis
Honorable Onyoti Adigo Nyikwer, Member of Parliament on the Ticket of Democratic change party had been and continues to be on the news announcing himself Chairman of Democratic Change Party since 25th Nov, 2016. The General Secretariat of the party had all along been issuing press statements that the Democratic Change Party had not yet elected its Chairman following the resignation of Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, and the party is currently being led by first Deputy Chairman; Mark Atem Awoll; in acting capacity until the National Delegates Congress is convened to elect the Chairman. Unfortunately, the press had all the time continued to portray Onyoti as Chairman of the party in denial of the true version of reality, thereby misleading the general public and party members. The purpose of this statement therefore, it to repeat and reiterate to the media, and for our general public and party members that Onyoti Adigo is not chairman of democratic change party as he calls himself.
To enlight the public, the following facts are enumerated:
1. How come Mr. Onyoti calls himself chairman of Democratic Change Party?!! On 26th Oct. 2016. The then Acting Chairman of the party, Mr. Donald Gideon Azomuna, sent two documents which he called decrees to the secretary general of the party bearing the same date.
The first decree was about fixing a date for holding an extra ordinary meeting of the national leadership council and the second was about forming a preparatory committee for that meeting. As a matter of party procedures, the two documents were unilateral and didn’t have any basis in our constitution according to the following facts:
a. Decree No. 1/2016 and 2 which refers to article 20.3.4 of the party constitution has no relevance to convening the national leader council.
b. The decrees point to an amended constitution 2016. This is a constitution miss representation because the party had not yet called for a convention to ratify the proposed amendment by the national leadership council.
c. Decree No. 1 refers to a meeting of National Executive Committee No 83 which did not take place. Perhaps the Acting Chairman might have held an illegal meeting in violation of article 22(1) of the party constitution.
d. Any extra ordinary meeting must be accompanied by the agenda it is supposed to discuss. The acting chairman decree No. 1 fixing the date f NLC meeting did not have the agenda making him seemingly oblivious about the purpose of the meeting he was calling for.
e. Point No. 4 of decree No. 2 (2016) refer to Onyoti Adigo rather than the Secretary General of the party to meet the expenses of the work of the preparatory committee.
f. Point 3, 4 and 5 decree No. 2/2016 are powers of the Secretary General who addresses the Party Chairperson in the states and the media on matters related to party activities and not the preparatory committee appointed by the Acting Chairperson; even appointing a preparatory committee to do the work of the council meeting is a role of the Secretary General and not any Party Chairman.
g. Point 2 and 3 of the resolution No. 1/2016 suggest that the National Leadership Council could be held without the participation of its members form states, therefore defeating the purpose of the NLC meeting.
2. What should have happened which did not happen for Onyoti Adigo to become Chairman of Democratic Change Party?
Any party chairman is elected by its convention; in this case the national delegates of the DC party elect the chairperson and not the national leadership council.
This is what should have happened if Onyoti were to become the Chairman.
a. The national leadership council should have been convened by the national executive committee to call for a meeting of national delegates congress whish should have elected Mr. Onyoti article 14 (3) of the constitution.
b. Information about the date, place and provisional agenda should have been communicated to members at least one month before the session, article 7(4) of the constitution. Strangely, the then acting chairman gave 9 days when he called for his NLC meeting.
c. The provisional agenda of the NDC should have been determined by NEC, regulation 8(1).
d. The NLC should have determined the time and place for convening the NDC to elect the chairman.
3. All above points to the Party Constitutional violation which cannot be tolerated by the original founders of the party. We in the DC party do not want to fall into the wrong constitutional trap which befell SPLM in 2013 resulting into the current situation of our country.
4. What was done to correct this constitutional violation
a. On 28th Oct, 2016 some members of the National Executive headed by the Secretary General presented a complaint to the political parties’ council about the constitutional violations in the Democratic Change Party.
b. On 2nd Nov. 2016, the political parties council, in response to the complaint above, wrote to the then acting chairman inviting him and the Secretary General to resolve this issue of the constitutional violation. No agreement was reached and the chairman of the political parties council decided that the mater be referred to panel of council members to make legal ruling.
c. On 6th Nov. 2016, after the election of the acting chairman, Donald Gideon, the national executive committee endorsed the first deputy chairman, Mark Awoll, to the seat of acting party chairman until the national delegates congress meeting is convened to elect the chairman and on 7th Nov. 2016, the secretary general wrote to PPC in this regards.
d. On 2nd Nov. 2016, the Political Parties’ Council in a press statement to Dawn Newspaper reiterated that the DC party has no chairman until a convention is held to elect the chairman.
5. What the party should do next.
The party is preparing to convene the National Delegates Congress meeting so as to elect the party chairman before the election of 2018.
This will be done in cooperation with the political party’s council and the national security which we hope will make security guarantees for the party members in all states they will elect their representatives to the convention.
1. To all members of DC party all over the country, your party is holding its legal status whose certificate is in our hands according to the laws of this country. We are a registered party, and Mr. Onyoti had not ran away with your certificate, your acting chairman Mark Atem Awoll is holding your flag. Let you not be swayed by Onyoti false rhetorics on the media.
2. To the press, let the citizens of South Sudan not be misled by the disinformation on the media that Onyoti is DC party chairman.
3. To the people of South Sudan, you pray for peace t come to our country and support the president of the republic on his initiative for a national dialogue.
Deng Bior Deng
Secretary General, Democratic Change Party.
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