2 South Sudan ministers kicked out of parliament for showing up with inadequate documents
South Sudan lawmakers on Tuesday expelled the country's minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management Peter Mayen Majongdit, and the minister of health Mary Achuei who were summoned over the ongoing floods after showing up with inadequate copies that could not be distributed among the lawmakers.
JUBA – South Sudan lawmakers on Tuesday expelled the country’s minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management Peter Mayen Majongdit, and the minister of health Mary Achuei who were summoned over the ongoing floods after showing up with inadequate copies that could not be distributed among the lawmakers.
Members of parliament argues that it is provided for in the parliamentary business regulations that a minister, when summoned, must provide her answers on the matter in question in a written document which should be available to all lawmakers.
As a result, the two ministers, both of whom are members of the opposition, failed to table their answers and were forced to return by the angry lawmaker some of whom have argued that the parliament has waited so long.
“So there is a room for us to discipline our minsters. Let us not leave them. Why should we wait for a minister to give us information? And by the way, when a motion is urgent; it doesn’t need to take one month. This was a mistake by you, the leadership,” Lawmaker Victor Omowa is quoted by the City Review as saying.
“What is the urgency if it is staying for a month? How many people have died?” he questioned.
For his part, Lawmaker Gatwech Lam Pouch said Regulation 39 of the Conduct of Business, which requires a minister to provide oral answers to oral questions, but when it is a motion on an important matter, the minister should present a written answer to the written questions based on Regulation 41 and distribute it to MPs.
“Because those were written answers, they should be substantiated with facts and evidence, not to give us oral answers or a lecture when he is coming to respond to that, ” he argued.
‘‘I will conquer with honourable Omowa that this parliament will not be the same. The constitution in Regulation 35 gave us the mandate to summon ministers to come and answer questions. The same thing in article 82 also gives us powers to summon ministers to come and answer questions, and any failure of a minister to come to parliament will be a message to the ministers, that they have to prioritise any parliamentary summons above any other function of the ministry, “Pouch said.
He added that ‘‘for us to maintain our dignity as members of the parliament from now, we have to sharpen our teeth because the conduct of business has given us that if any minister refuses to come to the parliament based on regulations 117 and 118 read together with article 117, 118 and regulation 89 in the conduct of business, we shall cash a vote of no confidence from any minister this time around.’’
Meanwhile, MP John Sebit Madut urged the ministers to familiarise themselves with the laws, especially the regulations on the conduct of business, on what to do in parliament when presenting their answers.
“It is their role to become familiar with these documents. It is also the responsibility of the leadership of the parliament to write clear messages to the ministers,” he stated.
Abe Beatrice, another MP, urged the ministers to produce sufficient copies of 550 that will be distributed to the MPs so that they can follow the presentation keenly and make references to it.
“Any oral presentation cannot be followed keenly and how shall we make references to whatever they are going to present? We are not dictionaries; we are going to keep everything in our mind,” she stressed.
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