JUBA – South Sudan information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth has said that the decision by the main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) to walk out of parliament in protest to manipulations of bill will not affect parliamentary businesses.
Last month, SPLM-IO representatives to the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) decided to walk out of parliamentary sitting in protest to what the group called “manipulation” of the parliamentary procedures in passing bills and reforms provided for in the revitalized peace agreement by the ruling SPLM party.
The group was reacting to the passing of the political parties act amendment bill 2022 in which it alleged that some of the recommendations by the National Constitutional Amendment Commission (NCAC) were scrapped during reading by the leadership of the parliament that is largely controlled by the ruling SPLM party under President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
Speaking to reporters following the weekly cabinet meeting in Juba on Friday, Makuei who is also the government spokesman said that the SPLM-IO pullout from parliament won’t affect the work of the legislature.
“Well this is something to do with the parties, with the principals to the agreement. Yes it is being discussed and it will be resolved,” Makuei told reporters.
“But that cannot stop the agreement from being implemented, and that cannot stop the parliament from proceeding because after all, what is it when you decide to match out of a meeting?” Makuei asked.
He said pulling out of important parliamentary sessions “means that you are abstaining hoping that there will be no majority, but fortunately the majority is there and the forum is continuing.”
The senior government official further revealed that the parties to the revitalized peace agreement are working preparing a decision and a road map on the elections provided for in the revitalized peace agreement at the end of the transitional period.
“We are working on the [elections] roadmap and it is the road map that will inform us as to whether there will be elections or no elections,” he said.
“The road map is on the pipeline, we are working on the road map. So it is the road map that will inform you, not me,” he added.
When pressed by a reporter, Makuei said: “But for me, if you want my opinion, we are going for elections.”
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