The National Legislature

The Composition of the National Legislature and the Conduct of its Business

  • The National Legislature is composed of the following two chambers:-
  • The National Assembly; and
  • The Council of States
  • The National Legislature shall conduct its business as prescribed in this Constitution in joint sittings of the two Chambers, chaired by the Speaker of the National Assembly and deputized by the Speaker of the Council of States.
  • Vote count shall be separate for each Chamber and governed by the quorum specified in this Constitution.
  • Each Chamber shall sit separately to conduct its business as prescribed in this Constitution.
  • The National Legislature, as well as each of its Chambers, shall make its own internal regulations.

Composition of the National Assembly

  • The National Assembly shall be composed of members elected in free and fair elections.
  • The National Elections Law shall determine the number of members and composition of the National Assembly.

Composition of the Council of States

  • The Council of States shall be composed of two representatives from each state, elected by the state legislature in accordance with the National Elections Law and regulations set forth by the National Commission.
  • Abyei Area shall have two observers at the Council of States, elected by Abyei Area Council.

The Seat of the National Legislature

  • The National Legislature shall convene at the seat of the National Assembly. However the two Speakers may agree, for exceptional reasons, to convene a sitting of the National Legislature elsewhere.
  • The Assembly shall convene at its seat in Omdurman; however the Speaker may exceptionally call it to convene elsewhere.
  • The Council of States shall convene at its seat in Omdurman, however it may also hold sittings in any state in the Sudan as may be decided by its Speaker or the majority of representatives.

Functions of the National Legislature

  • The National Legislature represents the will of the people and shall foster national unity, exercise national legislative functions, oversee the National Executive, and promote the decentralized system of government.
  • Without prejudice to the generality of sub-Article (1) above, the National Legislature shall convene for the following purposes to:-
    • amend this Constitution,
    • discuss addresses by the President of the Republic,
    • Authorize annual allocation of resources and revenues, in accordance with Article 110 of the Constitution.
    • Reconsider a bill which has been rejected by the President of the Republic under Article 108 (2) of the Constitution.
    • Approve declaration of war,
    • Confirm declaration of state of emergency of termination thereof,
    • Impeach the President f the Republic or the First Vice President,
    • Perform any other function determined by the Constitution or law,

The National Assembly shall be competent to:

  • assume legislation in all national powers, subject to sub-Article (5) (b),
  • approve plants, programmes and policies relating to the State and society,
  • Approve the annual national budget,
  • Ratify international treaties, conventions and agreements,
  • Oversee the performance of the National Executive,
  • Adopt resolutions on matters of public concern,
  • Summon national ministers to present reports on the executive performance of the government in general or of specified ministries or particular activities,
  • Interrogate, at will, national ministers about their performance or the performance of these ministries and may recommend to the President of the Republic, in a subsequent sitting, the removal of a national minister, if he/she is deemed to have lost the confidence of the National Assembly.

The Council of States shall be competent to:

  • initiate legislations on the decentralized system of government and other issues of interest to the states and pass such legislations with two-thirds majority of all representatives,
  • issue resolutions and directives that may guide all levels of government in accordance with the provisions of Articles 24, 25 and 26 of the Constitution,
  • approve by two-thirds majority of all representatives, the appointment of the Justices of the Constitutional Court,
  • approve, by a two-thirds majority , national legislation referred to in Article 5 (3) (a) of this Constitution or initiate national legislation which will provide for such necessary alternative institutions, according to Article 5 (3) (b) of the Constitution, as appropriate,
  • supervise the National Reconstruction and Development Fund,
  • Decide on objections by states referred to it by the National Petroleum Commission according to the provisions of Article 191 (4) (d) of the Constitution,
  • Request statements from national ministers concerned regarding effective implementation of the decentralized system and devolution of power.

While sitting separately to transact business that falls within its competence, each Chamber shall observe the following rules:-

  • any bill on a matter falling within the competence of either Chamber, shall be tabled in that Chamber,
  • a bill passed by the National Assembly shall be referred to a standing Inter-Chamber Committee for scrutiny and decision on whether it affects the interests of the states. Should the Committee decide that the bill affects the interest of the states, the bill shall be referred to the Council of States,
  • should the Council of States introduce any amendments in the referred bill, by a two-thirds majority of the representatives or pass it as is, the bill shall be sent top the President of the Republic for his/her assent without being returned to the National Assembly
  • No Chamber shall discuss any business of which the other Chamber is seized, until it is finally referred thereto.

Committees of the National Legislature

  • Each Chamber, in accordance with its internal regulations, shall have standing specialized committees and ad hoc committees.
  • The two Chambers may form inter-chamber standing or ad hoc committees for specific matters that are of concern to the two Chambers.