JUBA — Members of parliament representing the main armed opposition group, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), have this afternoon called off their two-month-long boycott of parliamentary sittings.
The SPLM-IO parliamentarian caucus boycotted parliamentary sittings in June to protest what it called manipulation of the Political Parties Act, 2012 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 by lawmakers from the ruling party under President Salva Kiir.
The opposition accused the SPLM party of increasing the minimum number of members required for political party registration from 300 to 500.
Speaking to reporters following a meeting at the parliament on Monday, Nathaniel Oyet Pierino, Deputy Chair of the SPLM-IO and first deputy speaker of parliament said his group has ended the boycott after President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar resolved the issue.
“The SPM-IO parliamentary caucus in its meetings dated 14th August, resolved to terminate its boycott of parliamentary business effective today (Monday) 15th August 2022,” Oyet told reporters on Monday.
Oyet said consensus was reached following advice from principles and peace monitors.
“We would like to state that termination of the boycott is in line with advice from two principles and advice from R-JMEC and NCAC,” said Oyet.
Oyet said the Political Parties Act can’t be brought back for consideration after it was signed into law by the president.
“The Political Parties Act or bill has been ascended to by the president and as you know, the procedures for enacting laws anywhere in the world including South Sudan is for the parliament to pass the law and then forward the bills to the president for ascending,” he said.
Oyet says all bills that were passed in the absence of the IO legislators will be tabled back in parliament for discussion.
“The resolutions of the two principles are very clear that those bills that were passed by the parliament and not ascended to by the president shall be returned for deliberation in the house with the participation of the SPLM-IO MPs of the parliament.”
John Agany Deng, Chairperson of the Information Committee welcomed the SPLM-IO parliamentarian caucus to the assembly.
“This morning we have received our SPLM-IO members led by Deputy Speaker Nathaniel Oyet Pierino who is a very inspirational man,” Deng said.