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A Rough Idea For The Darfurian Constitution

(drafted by Connor McKusker Thompson) (All ideas herein are simply suggestions, and can only be made legal by a Darfurian constitutional convention and ratification procedure.)
Preamble: (to be written by the Darfurian constitutional convention) Article 1: The Legislative Branch Section 1: The Legislature All legislative powers herein shall be vested in a Parliament of Darfur, which shall consist of a Peoples Assembly and a Counsel of the Sultans. Section 2: The Peoples Assembly The Peoples Assembly shall be composed of Representatives chosen every second year by the people of the several Omda districts (or another district system depending upon the opinions of the Darfurian constitutional convention). All Representatives must have attained the age of twenty five years, been a citizen of Darfur for seven years, and, when elected, be an inhabitant of the district to be represented. Each district will be required to send a delegation of three Representatives to the Peoples Assembly. Each delegation shall have one vote on all issues, except when one member requests that the delegation be polled, in which case the single vote of the delegation shall be determined by its own majority vote. Each district shall determine the manner in which its Representatives are to be elected by the people. Quotas shall be established in order to guarantee fair participation of both men and women, as well as all of Darfurs major ethnic, religious, and language groups in the Peoples Assembly. When vacancies happen in the Representation from any district, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies. The Peoples Assembly shall choose their Speaker and other officers, and shall have the sole power of impeachment. Section 3: The Counsel of Sultans The Counsel of Sultans shall be composed of the Sultans of Darfur or, if duties in their home jurisdictions prohibit their participation, their appointed proxies. Each, in keeping with the traditional system of the Darfur Sultanate, shall maintain this office until either death or retirement. Each Sultan shall have one vote on all issues.

No Sultan or proxy shall hold the office of Counselor who has not attained the age of thirty years. If a vacancy happens during a Sultans time in office and the succeeding Sultan is not yet of age, then the appointed proxy of the previous Sultan shall hold the office until the new Sultan comes of age. If a vacancy happens without there being an heir, the new Sultan shall be chosen by the traditional system. If a vacancy happens without either an of age Sultan or an appointed proxy, then the Prime Minister shall issue writs of election to fill the position until the next Sultan is of age. The Counsel of Sultans shall choose their officers, including one of their own as Governor General who shall hold the office for a term of six years and serve as President of the Counsel. Sultans may be disqualified from election by free and fair trial before the Supreme Court in accordance with law. The Counsel of Sultans shall have the sole power to try all impeachments except that of their own and that of the Governor general, which shall instead be tried by the Supreme Court. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the Prime Minister is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under Darfur; but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to law. Section 4: Meetings (to be determined by the Darfurian Constitutional Convention) Section 5: Membership, Rules, Journals, Adjournment (to be determined by the Darfurian Constitutional Convention) Section 6: Compensation (to be determined by the Darfurian Constitutional Convention) Section 7: Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential Veto The power of the veto shall be vested in the Prime Minister. The Supreme Court shall judge the constitutionality of each law that passes. The legislative process shall involve both houses of Parliament, in a manner subject to the details determined by the houses themselves, which guarantees a fair vote of two thirds or more of the members present in each house, the ability of each house to submit legislation, and the ability to override the power of the veto in the same manner in which the original legislation (subject to alteration) was passed.

(The remainder of this section should be determined by the Darfurian Constitutional Convention.) Section 8: Powers of Parliament The members of the Peoples Assembly shall have the ability to form regulatory committees for the purpose of determining whether submitted legislation is suitable for debate on the Assembly floor. All submitted legislation shall be divided into categories of subject and submitted to the corresponding committee, then debated and voted upon fairly. Passage of legislation shall depend upon a vote of two thirds or more of the members present. The committees shall also be able to submit their own legislation to the Assembly floor after debate and a fair vote of two thirds or more of the members present. In all cases of the suspicion of illegal actions pertaining to any party subject to federal regulation according to law, the Counsel of Sultans and the various committees of the Peoples Assembly shall have the power to conduct formal hearings for the purpose of determining whether legal action is necessary, and attempting to resolve all harmful issues before such action becomes necessary. Such determinations shall depend upon a process of deliberation and fair vote of two thirds or more of the members present. The Chief Justice shall observe all proceedings, ask questions which are felt to be necessary, and ensure that the confines of law are not breached. Parliament shall have the ability to pass tax laws pertaining uniformly to the entire nation of Darfur. (Further powers must be determined by the Darfurian Constitutional Convention.) Section 9: Limitations on Parliament (to be determined by the Darfurian Constitutional Convention) Section 10: Powers Prohibited of Districts Despite all constitutional prohibitions, the many districts, cities, and villages shall nonetheless be guaranteed their own semi-autonomous governments, which shall be capable of passing their own laws, levying their own taxes, and recruiting their own police forces for the protection and benefit of all citizens therein. (The remainder shall be determined by the Darfurian Constitutional Convention.) Section 11: The Military It is the duty of both houses of the legislature to provide funding for a standing military of Darfur in a manner in which the two houses see fit. Article 2: The Executive Branch The executive authority of Darfur shall be vested in a Governor General and a Prime Minister of Darfur.

Section 1: The Governor General It is the duty of the Counsel of Sultans to elect one of their own as Governor General, who shall serve a term of six years and preside as President of the Counsel. No Sultan may hold the office of Governor General who has not attained the age of forty years. No appointed proxy may hold the office of Governor General unless there are no sultans available for election, but the appointed proxies may nevertheless cast their vote in any election. The Governor General may only be elected twice, unless all other Sultans serving on the Counsel at that time have already been elected or disqualified from election, in which case general elections may resume until such time as there is a new Sultan on the Counsel who is of age for the office. The Counsel of Sultans shall determine the day on which they shall choose the Governor General, and upon which following day the Governor General shall take office. The Governor General shall receive a compensation for service, the times and amount of which are to be determined by both houses of the legislature in a manner which suits them. Before taking office, the Governor General must take an oath or affirmation (the nature of which shall be determined by the Darfurian constitutional convention). The Governor General shall have the authority and duty to engage in diplomacy within Darfur and around the world, appoint ambassadors, and appoint ministers of government, including the Prime Minister. All appointments must be confirmed by a two thirds majority vote in the corresponding committee within the Peoples Assembly or, in the case of the Prime Minister, by the Assembly as a whole. The Governor General, as well as all appointed officers, ministers, and ambassadors, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Section 2: The Prime Minister It is the duty of the Governor General to appoint either a member of the Peoples Assembly or a current Prime Minister to this office, pending confirmation by a two thirds majority vote in the Peoples Assembly. The Peoples Assembly shall determine the day on which they shall vote concerning the office of the Prime Minister, and upon which following day the Prime Minister shall take office. Further, they shall be allowed to make their confirmation of the individual they wish to take the office before the Governor General appoints the candidate, for the purpose of guiding his choice. The Peoples Assembly shall choose the date by which the Governor General must complete the appointment process

The Prime Minister will be appointed to a term of four years, and may be appointed an indefinite number of times. No person may be appointed Prime Minister who has not attained the age of thirty five years. The Prime Minister shall have the duty to enforce the laws and policies of the federal government of Darfur, to appoint officers of administration, to assist the Governor General in diplomacy, and to serve as commander in chief of the Darfurian standing military, thereby guarding Darfur from invasion and managing its military engagements. (Martial law cannot be declared by any party other than the Parliament of Darfur, and shall be subject to the constraints of Darfurian federal law for the purpose of protecting the rights of the people.) The Prime Minister shall also be required from time to time to deliver a speech to the federal government of Darfur on the State of the Nation. The Prime Minister shall have the power to pardon offenders of the laws and policies of the federal government of Darfur. The Prime Minister shall have the duty to appoint Supreme Court Justices when vacancies arise. All such appointments must be confirmed by a two thirds majority vote in the Judicial Committee of the Peoples Assembly. The Prime Minister shall receive a compensation for service, the times and amount of which are to be determined by both houses of the legislature in a manner which suits them. Before taking office, the Prime Minister must take an oath or affirmation (the nature of which shall be determined by the Darfurian constitutional convention). The Prime Minister, as well as all appointed officers, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Section 3: Legislation Both the Prime Minister and the Governor General shall have the power to submit legislation to the Parliament of Darfur. Section 4: Vacancies (In the event of either the Governor General or Prime Ministers death, resignation, impeachment, or other circumstance making them incapable of executing their duties, there should be a system devised by the Darfurian constitutional convention which establishes a clear line of political succession. This person should be able to execute the duties of the office until such time as a new leader is chosen.) Article 3: The Judicial Branch The judicial power of the federal government of Darfur shall be vested in a Supreme Court of Darfur (the powers of which shall be determined by the Darfurian constitutional convention).

The Prime Minister shall make all appointments of Supreme Court Justices pending confirmation by a two thirds vote of the Judicial Committee of the Peoples Assembly. No justice may sit on the Supreme Court who has not attained the age of forty years, and none may hold the position of Chief Justice who has not attained the age of forty five years. The Supreme Court shall vote on all appointments of officers and shall choose one of their own every two years to serve as Chief Justice. This individual shall maintain order in all court proceedings, cast an equal vote with all other Justices, serve all other functions outlined in this constitution, and may be chosen an indefinite number of times. Every ten years, any laws which have been made determining the number of Justices allowed to sit on the Supreme Court, as well as the conduct of the court itself, shall be changed, revoked, or renewed by the process of federal legislation. (further details of this should be decided by the Darfurian constitutional convention, but I would suggest an emulation of the model of the United States.) Article 4: The Districts (The details of this should be decided by the Darfurian constitutional convention, but I would suggest that it be based on either the traditional hierarchy of the Darfur Sultanate or a republican form of government.) Article 5: Amendment (The details of this should be decided by the Darfurian constitutional convention, but this constitution should be made amendable in case the need should arise in the future.) Article 6: Debts, Supremacy, Oaths (The details of this should be decided by the Darfurian constitutional convention.) Article 7: Ratification (The details of this should be decided by the Darfurian constitutional convention.) Article 8: Water Rights, Agricultural Rights, Natural Resource Rights (The details of this deserve special attention for the stability of Darfur, and should be decided by the Darfurian constitutional convention. Experts on the subjects should be consulted.) Article 9: Bill of Rights (The details of this should be decided by the Darfurian constitutional convention, but I would suggest an observation of the amendments which have been made to the American Constitution.

Primarily, I would suggest an observation of the first ten, including the right to freedom of speech/peaceful assembly, freedom of the press, and freedom to keep and bear arms, protection from unlawful search and seizure, protection from self-incrimination, the right to a trial by a jury of peers, due process of law, limitations of punishment, freedom of religion, and protection of other rights of the people and districts, as well as later amendments allowing such things as equality of gender and forbidding slavery.)