South Sudan officially became a country on July 9, 2011. This country fought against Sudan in what is known as the longest known civil war in African history. The two countries signed a peace agreement in 2005 that lead to South Sudan establishing an interim government. After independence, this country moved to establish a permanent form of government with a presidential system in which the President serves as both the Head of State and the Head of Government. Legislative responsibilities are carried out by the bicameral National Legislature body, which consists of the National Legislative Assembly (170 seats) and the Council of States (50 states). In December of 2013, however, South Sudan entered into another civil war between the current governing bodies and opposing political parties. This conflict has thrown the government into a state of instability.
Since its complete independence in 2011, South Sudan has not yet held an election. The newly formed government had initially scheduled the first election to take place in 2015, but the civil war prevented that from happening. Because of the fighting, the National Legislature decided to allow the current government (both the legislative and executive branches) to stay in power for an additional term. This decision means that the first elections will be held in 2018.
Both houses of the National Legislature meet in the city of Juba, which currently serves as the capital of South Sudan. This city, however, lacks sufficient infrastructure to house the government. As part of its restructuring and development, the government of South Sudan decided to invest in a planned city that would serve as the capital in the future. This new capital is intended to be moved to the state of Lakes in the town of Ramciel, which is believed to represent the geographical center of the country.
The current President of South Sudan belongs to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement party. This party also holds majority representation in the National Legislative Assembly (with 164 out of 170 seats). Additionally, it holds 21 out of 50 seats in the Council of States. Other political parties that are currently active (although not necessarily in the current government) in South Sudan include: the National Congress Party, Democratic Change, South Sudan Communist Party, United Democratic Front, South Sudan Liberal Party, and Sudan African National Union.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018
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