South Sudan's opposition on Tuesday slammed a proposed interim constitution as "dictatorial," concentrating power in the hands of the ruling party and pushing back post-independence elections.
The draft constitution also lays claim to the disputed Abyei region, the site of repeated clashes since a referendum planned for January on whether the oil-producing area should join the north or the south was shelved.
Instead of holding elections after independence as originally planned, the draft, which was handed to southern president Salva Kiir in a ceremony last week, also proposes the "tenure of the office of the president of the republic of south Sudan shall be four years, commencing from July 9, 2011."
If passed by parliament -- in which Kiir's SPLM holds an overwhelming majority -- it will be enacted following the south's formal independence on July 9. But the opposition said they feared it could create a legal loophole at the end of that term