Democracy before referendum is a boon for Southern Sudan

Category: Commentary
Published on Sunday, 14 March 2010 12:10
Written by Kuol Mayiir, The New Sudan Vision (NSV), www.newsudanvision.com
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km(Melbourne Australia) - Democracy as an idea that aims to serve the interest of the majority is a true political paradigm that needs to be anchored in a nation like Southern Sudan. The politic of “to roast or boil” always contradict what is best for the people who need change and development, but hey! The fundamental dynamics of putting into consideration the will of the majority over minority would help pervert an ever-present phenomenon such as chronic corruption and ethnic warfare.

Democracy would bolster co-existence because corruption and ethnic warfare in Southern Sudan are typically based on tribal identity and cultural practises; it is more often about attempts to gain power, land, or other resources. However, the commonality of ethnic mistrust does not results from ethnic diversity; it is selfishness that sends us off in pursuit of the wrong policies, and thus, democracy would help to rebuild trust and cooperation among tribes.

Democratic values would enable Southern Sudan Government to use little resources available for the betterment of the whole population. It would create appropriate legal system that acts as a buffer for those wanting to commit unlawful activities. Practising (reintroducing) democratic values in Southern Sudan would also create a fine environment that allows diverse people to live together in harmony, hence, a corridor for promoting better and efficient distribution of goods and services, regardless of ethnic origin of a particular group of people.

Critics might however question as to why China is rapidly growing while it is under the rule of communist system of Government. This is true; China’s rapid economic victory encapsulates many hybrid elements of all sort of political systems. The government has a well-regulated market institution that only aims at profit and the quantity of production while the labour force that facilitates these profits and productions are subject to strict bureaucratic rule that minimizes the ubiquity of corruption. China also has absolute control of its currency, no free markets rule and policies thus are not characteristics of democratic rule.

Democratic rule balance the role of labour force while maximizing profits for the sake of its people, and this is what needs to be done should we Southerners achieve independent. To you folk there! It’s not only by voting that a country becomes democratic. Principles of democracy such as rule of law and control of corruption shape the way a particular nation (such as China) achieves massive economic development. Even though China’s economic performance is overwhelming; it’s not the path that our nation needs because no sustainable economic development that is characterised by trampling critics as well as public voice.

Further ground, as to why democracy would be a blessing and not a curse for Southern Sudan, is that democracy would shine as a symbol of political freedom that enables potential citizens to engage in businesses of their own. Freedom of individuals to exercise their God given ability at their best will and interest without intimidation (such as in making decision on how to conduct and operate your own business with all freedoms available) allows ordinary people to engage in businesses that transform their lives compared to businesses subject to censorship by non democratic governments.

Promotion of a well oriented democracy (centred on people) in Southern Sudan would speed up development as its central idea would means that; the political institutions critical to economic developments are more likely to exist and function effectively under democratic rule. Evidently, democratic countries with high degree of political openness achieve an average or massive growth rate such as in Western world compared to low growth rate in third world nations due to “democratic concealment”.

In one perspective, this democratic concealment often observed in totalitarian or autocratic governments is characterized by elections’ fraud, where leaders steal national elections; while claiming it to be free and fair, and democratic. Such a political manoeuvre dwindle progress, and is predominantly a travesty of a chronic corruption that persists as far as political wrangling continues.

Southern Sudan at its current level resembles a child who is totally malnourished. A child who needs regular nutritious supplements to regain energy lost. And for Southern Sudan to overcome this; there is a need for a national framework that aims to promote democracy at the grass root to the top. By doing so, foreign investors could be attracted to provide capital, hence creating national building projects for a new, fresh, prosperous and a strong Southern Sudanese nation.

*Kuol Mayiir is a Psychology student at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..