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E.A COURT STOPS MPs From taking oath of regional assembly

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) has given some temporary orders preventing the regional assembly from administering the oath of office, or recognizing nominees from South Sudan pending an inter-party hearing in a weeks’ time, the lawyer who filed the petition confirmed yesterday.

Wani Simon Jada told Juba Monitor on phone that the court had granted the interim order through a panel of five judges on Monday.

“The court has granted the temporary order that these people are not supposed to be sworn in as scheduled until the inter-party hearing determines the fate of the MPs,” he said.

Jada revealed that the next hearing will take place on Thursday next week because he had to serve the defendant with copies of the court orders.

Last month, lawyer Jada filed a case in the East African Court challenging the constitutionality of the South Sudanese members to the East African Legislative Assembly.

He said the appointment of the members by the President seriously contravene article 50 of the EAC treaty.

Article 50 of the EAC governed elections of the members of the East African Legislative Assembly by their own country parliament.

Its provision expressly provides “the National Assembly of each partner state shall elect, not from among its members, nine members of the Assembly, who shall represent as much as it is feasible, the various political parties represented in the National Assembly, shades of opinion, gender and other special interested groups in that partner state, in accordance with such procedure as the National Assembly of each partner state may determine,” reads article 50.

Mou Mou Athian Kuol, the Secretary General, South Sudan East African Community secretariat also confirmed that the temporary order had been extended to their office.

Kuol said the case will be handled by the Attorney General adding that as for now the government will wait for the outcome of the court.

“The government will go for the case and if it wins, the same members that have been nominated will continue, but if the government loses the case, then the court will have to tell us what to do,” he said.

The members are expected to appear in the East African Legislative Assembly after being sworn in.

In March, Anthony Lino Makana, the speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) forwarded the names of the members to the East African Legislative Assembly.

Seven members were appointed by President Salva Kiir in a presidential decree on the 11th of March, 2017.

By Morris Dogga

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