National News


Newly elected speaker of WLSLA Chol Kuotwel Manhom (L) Governor Mahmoud (Centre) and State high Court Judge Mathiang (right) file photo

B: Mabor Riak Magok

Members of Parliament of Western Lakes State Legislative Assembly have elected Chol Kuotwel Manhom as a new speaker on Tuesday, a day after the assembly’s re-opening.

The house was re-opened on Monday since the lawmakers went on recess in 2017.

Speaker Manhom was appointed earlier by the former governor John Deng Mamer despite objection from the MPs, he continued to manage the house.

However, after the re-opening of the state assembly by the new governor, the MPs on Tuesday decided whether Manhom should continue to lead them.

In an interview with Juba Monitor, Benjamin Laat Mathou, one of the MPs concurred with the election saying it was democratic without interference from the state executive.

“Today, we had a first sitting as parliamentarians in Western Lakes State Legislative Assembly to discuss three items which includes formation of seven-member committee to scrutinize the speech of the governor during the opening of the state assembly and make report after two weeks,” he said.

Another item, he continued, was the confirmation of the Speaker by Members of Parliament through nomination.

According to Benjamin, the procedures which were adopted to confirm the Speaker were the same with the processes of election.

“We had to go in a normal procedure by nominating and seconding the speaker in which all the members of the August House confirmed Chol Kuotwel Manhom as the new Speaker of Western Lakes State Assembly,” he said.

Shadrack Bol Machok, representing Wulu Constituency hailed the State MPs for confirming Chol Kuotwel Manhom as their Speaker.

He said they had to confirm Manhom in order to grant him full rights to control the House.

“Another item we deliberated on was the reinstatement of the elected Members of Parliament to their positions,” Machok said.

He said according to the Transitional Constitution and Conduct of Business, the Speaker was not supposed be appointed by gubernatorial decree.

“I was one of the MPs who seconded the confirmation of Chol Kuotwel Manhom as the new Speaker of State Parliament,” he said.

The lawmaker added that the state assembly has now resumed its full oversight functions.

He said the next step was to nominate the deputy speaker and appoint new members of the specialized committees.


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