Constitution of Sudan


The temporary ''de facto'' Constitution of Sudan is the Draft Constitutional Declaration, which was signed by representatives of the Transitional Military Council and the
Forces of Freedom and Change The Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC, also ''Alliance for Freedom and Change'', or AFC, and ''Declaration of Freedom and Change'', or DFC; ar, قوى إعلان الحرية والتغيير) is a wide political coalition of civilian and rebel ...
alliance on 4 August 2019. This replaced the Interim National Constitution of the Republic of Sudan, 2005 (INC) adopted on 6 July 2005, which had been suspended on 11 April 2019 by Lt. Gen
Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf Lieutenant general, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf (born ; ar, أحمد عوض بن عوف ) is a Sudanese politician and Sudanese Army lieutenant general who served as the ''de facto'' List of heads of state of Sudan, Head of State for one day f ...
in the
2019 Sudanese coup d'état The 2019 Sudanese coup d'état took place on the late afternoon of 11 April 2019, when Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown by the Sudanese Armed Forces, Sudanese army after popular protests demanded his departure. At that time the ar ...

1973 and 1998 constitutions

The first permanent Constitution of Sudan was drafted in 1973. It incorporated the
Addis Ababa Agreement (1972) The Addis Ababa Agreement, also known as the Addis Ababa Accord, was a set of compromises within a 1972 treaty that ended the First Sudanese Civil War (1955–1972) fighting in Sudan. The Addis Ababa accords were incorporated in the Constitution of ...
ending the first Sudanese civil war. The 1985 military coup led to suspension of Sudan's 1973 constitution and its replacement with an interim constitution later in the year. One of the first acts of the
Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation The Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCCNS-Sudan) was the governing body of Sudan following the 1989 Sudanese coup d'état, June 1989 coup. It grew out of the collaboration between the Sudanese military and the National Islam ...
after seizing power in 1989 was to abolish the interim constitution. President Omar Al-Bashir promised to prepare a new constitution. It was not until January 1998, however, that Sudan convened a constitutional conference to draft a constitution. It consisted of legal and political scholars representing different political groups sympathetic to al-Bashir’s rule. The Umma Party and the
Democratic Unionist Party The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is a unionist and loyalist Loyalism, in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guar ...
refused to participate. Most Southerners boycotted the conference. Voters in Sudan’s single-party system approved the constitution in a 1998 referendum, a process that raised questions about the degree to which the public accepted the document.Nohlen, D, Krennerich, M & Thibaut, B (1999) ''Elections in Africa: A data handbook'', p595 The constitution entered into force on July 1, 1998. A significant feature of the individual-rights provisions of the 1998 constitution was the frequent use of the qualifier “in accordance with law” attached to most freedoms. On the other hand, there was no requirement that only
Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
could hold public office, including the office of president. Non-Muslims were free to practice, convert, and doubt the main tenets of their religion as long as they did not interfere with the spiritual life of Muslims. There were, nevertheless, inherent conflicts between Sudan’s Islamic political system and the way in which Muslims applied the principles of
shura Shura ( ar, شُورَىٰ, ''shūrā'') is an Arabic word for "consultation". The Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also know ...

. The constitution attempted to balance a strong preference for Islamic beliefs and a grudging acceptance of internationally accepted human rights. In 1999, dissenting members of the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media L ...
(the lower house of the legislature) tried to amend the constitution by restricting the president’s involvement in the selection of candidates for governors of the federal states. Speaker of the National Assembly
Hassan Al-Turabi Hassan 'Abd Allah al Turabi (1 February 1932 – 5 March 2016) was a Sudanese Islamist politician who was considered "the true architect" of the 1989 coup that brought Omar al-Bashir to power. He has been called "one of the most influential f ...
supported the amendment, but the proposal led al-Bashir to dissolve the National Assembly and declare a state of emergency under the constitution. These steps had the effect of suspending the decentralization process stipulated in the constitution and gave al-Bashir full authority over the states. Legislators supporting al-Turabi challenged the state of emergency before the Constitutional Court, which concluded that al-Bashir’s actions were constitutional.

2005 Interim National Constitution

On May 26, 2004, the government and the
Sudan People's Liberation Movement The Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) ( ar, الحركة الشعبية لتحرير السودان, ''Al-Ḥarakat ash-Shaʿbiyyat liTaḥrīr as-Sūdān'') is a political party in South Sudan. It was initially founded as the political ...
(SPLM) signed the
Protocol on Power Sharing Protocol may refer to: Sociology and politics * Protocol (politics), a formal agreement between nation states * Protocol (diplomacy), the etiquette of diplomacy and affairs of state * Etiquette, a code of personal behavior Science and technology ...
, later part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The protocol provided for a National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC) composed of representatives from the National Congress (Sudan), National Congress Party, SPLM, other political forces, and civil society. It was charged with preparing a legal and constitutional framework based on the peace agreement and the 1998 constitution for adoption by the National Assembly and the SPLM. The result was the Interim National Constitution of the Republic of Sudan, which the National Assembly and the SPLM National Liberation Council adopted on July 6, 2005. For its part, the Government of South Sudan then adopted on December 5, 2005, an Interim Constitution of South Sudan that did not contradict any of the provisions contained in the Interim National Constitution. The NCRC prepared a model constitution for all 25 states, compatible with both the Interim National Constitution and the one for South Sudan. The states of South Sudan adopted their own constitutions, which had to conform to both interim constitutions. Before the end of the six-year interim period mandated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the NCRC was also responsible for organizing an inclusive constitutional-review process. According to the Interim National Constitution, the crucial six-year interim period began officially on July 9, 2005. Both the Interim National Constitution and the Interim Constitution of South Sudan authorized the 15 states in the North and the 10 states in South Sudan to have their own constitutions. States in the North began the constitutional drafting process in mid-2005 based on a model constitution drafted by a subcommittee of the NCRC. The most controversial process was in Khartoum (state), Khartoum State where there were concerns about the rights of non-Muslims and human rights generally. Blue Nile (state), Blue Nile and South Kordofan States, disputed areas that are also strategically located, posed problems for the constitutional-development process. The drafting of state constitutions in the South began later than in the North but was relatively uncontroversial because the SPLM held a 70 percent majority in the state legislatures and could largely control the outcome. The Interim National Constitution was officially suspended following the 2019 Sudanese coup d'état, April 2019 military coup which overthrew the country's President of 30 years Omar al-Bashir.

August 2019 Draft Constitutional Declaration

On 5 July 2019, the
Forces of Freedom and Change The Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC, also ''Alliance for Freedom and Change'', or AFC, and ''Declaration of Freedom and Change'', or DFC; ar, قوى إعلان الحرية والتغيير) is a wide political coalition of civilian and rebel ...
(FFC) alliance, representing a wide range of citizens' groups, political opposition parties and armed opposition groups who 2018–19 Sudanese protests, had protested for many months since December 2018 via massive and sustained civil disobedience, agreed on a deal with the Transitional Military Council (TMC) for a Sudanese transition to democracy, 39-month plan of recreating political institutions to return to a democratic system. On 3 August 2019, the Political Agreement from July was complemented by a more extensive constitutional document, with 70 legal articles organised in 16 chapters, called the Draft Constitutional Declaration. The document was signed on 4 August 2019 by Ahmed Rabie of the FFC and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo ("Hemetti") of the TMC. The 2019 Sudanese transition to democracy#Draft Constitutional Declaration, Draft Constitutional Declaration defines the leadership, institutions and procedures for the 39-month transition period.

External links

Constitution Of The Republic Of Sudan (Entered into force 1 July 1998)
at ICRC website
Interim National Constitution of the Republic of Sudan, 2005
unofficial English translation of 4 August 2019 Draft Constitutional Declaration
by International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, IDEA


{{Sudan topics Politics of Sudan Constitutions by country, Sudan Government of Sudan