JUBA – A South Sudan lawmaker has appealed to President Salva Kiir Mayardit to extend the terms of the officials who have served in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) on the ticket of the ruling party, saying the tenures of the lawmakers were interrupted by gov’t inability to pay the country’s membership arrears to the East African Community (EAC).
This comes after the clerk of the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) asked parties making up the parliament to submit names of their parties’ nominees to the regional parliament ahead of the EALA leadership elections.
In a statement, Gen. Salva Mathok Gengdit, a lawmaker representing SPLM party in the R-TNLA, praised Kiir who doubles as the chairperson of the party for paying the country’s membership arrears to the EAC and asked the president to extend the terms of South Sudan members of the regional parliament saying the delay to pay the country’s membership arrears interrupted their terms.
“The previously elected members faced many challenges because we failed to pay arrears and that restricted them to play a greater role in Parliamentary debates as full members of EALA. Thanks to H.E the President for paying the arrears,” Gen. Mathok said.
“To be consistent in following the issues of our integration into the East African Community, I appeal to your authority for an extension of the period of the previous members instead of replacing them with new members who might not be aware of the games being played in EALA Parliament for the last 5 years,” he added.
SPLM-IO ELECTS 2 NOMINEES TO EA PARLIAMENT
The call by Gen. Mathok for Kiir to maintain membership of the incumbent SPLM-IG members in the regional parliament comes a day after the main opposition party, SPLM-IO, led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny named two nominees from among its members to represent the country on its tickets in the EALA.
In a party caucus meeting chaired by Machar over the weekend, the SPLM-IO elected Ms. Saadia James Sabit and Mr. Luke Thompson Thoan Teny to go to the East African parliament.
“The woman list has been won by Ms. Saadia James Sabit with 92 out of 131 votes, and the party list was won by Mr. Luke Thompson Thoan Teny with 94 out of 132 votes,” the SPLM-IO said in a statement extended to Sudans Post on Monday.
The two opposition officials were elected by the members of the Political Bureau, members of the Executive Council, SPLM-IO members of the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly, and the Transitional Council of States.
“The party has got only two seats for the regional organization. The SPLM-IO as usual considered gender representation and thus allocated 1 seat to a female and the other to a male,” it said.
“The election was conducted in a free, fair, and democratic environment as these are the very values, visions, and missions for which our party was founded,” the statement added.