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The newly elected members to the regional bloc assembly might not be sworn in if Lawyer Wani Santino Jada effects his threat to stop the exercise which he termed “null and void”.

Jada, a South Sudanese lawyer based in Kampala, Uganda has threatened to once again block the swearing in of the recently elected Members of Parliament. Jada first successfully stopped the swearing in of the initially appointed MPs in the East African Court hearing in Kampala.

In an interview with Juba Monitor through the phone, Jada who had blocked the swearing in of the nine members appointed by the President in May said he was still not satisfied because the election process had not met the requirements of the East African Treaty.

“These people will not be sworn in because the whole process has become invalid,” he said.

Jada said the election process is invalid because there was an inclusion of the SPLM-IO which he said is not in line with the East African Treaty.

He argued that there is nowhere in the treaty that says rebel groups can become members of parliament of the community.

“Article 50 of the East African Treaty say political parties can contest but when you see the way the election was conducted, SPLM-IOs were allowed to contest and one of the SPLM-IOs was elected and IO is not a political party,” he argued.

“It is not in the spirit of the treaty, it is not in line with the election act of East African Community 2011 section 4 clause 3 (A) which talks also about political parties and IO is not a political party, so the whole process has become invalid,” he added.

According to article 50 of the East African Community, “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 interest groups in that partner State, in accordance with such procedure as the National Assembly of each partner state may determine,” reads article 50.

Jada said According to setting of SPLM-IO, it is not a political party. According to him, SPLM-IO is a rebel group.

He said the SPLM-IO should have either registered as a political party, or joined the main SPLM party. The members of the SPLM IO should have also contested as independent candidates but not in the name of the SPLM-IO.

Before the election of the EALA MPs, the Leader of the People’s Liberal Party (PLP), Peter Mayen Majongdit had threatened to take legal actions against the government if it allowed members from the SPLM-IO to take part in the election.

Mayen had the same argument that SPM-IO is not a political party therefore should not be allowed to participate in the East African Assembly elections.

Lawyer Jada further questioned the declaration of the three women as winners without campaigning, which he said is not in respect of the East African Community Treaty.

He said the fact that Gender has to be represented in the East African Assembly does not mean that the three women have to go unopposed.

“I don’t know which procedure they used for selecting the women. These three women are supposed to campaign among themselves and the best two will be selected because Gender has to appear,” he said.

Before the election, the speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, Anthony Lino Makana declared the three women elected because the three positions are exclusively for the three women according to the East African Treaty.

But Jada argued that there is nowhere in the treaty that says the three positions are for women. “The Election Act of the East African Assembly states that gender should be represented but it does not stipulate the exact number of women,” he said.

He said according to the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, women are given 25 percent and when the percentage of the three women is calculated out of the six men, it is 33 percent not 25 percent which he said is not in accordance with the constitution.

Early this year, the East African court of Justice blocked 9 members from South Sudan from taking oath after Wani Santino Jada filed a case into the court challenging the way they were appointed.

He said they are going to court and amend the first petition, and attach the clerk as the fourth defendant to appear before the court, and the leader of the majority as the field defendant as well as the leader of the minority in the parliament as the civil defendant.

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