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Illegal parliament should be reconstituted

By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

A civil society activist, who is also a member of the National Constitution Amendment Committee (NCAC), has expressed a need for peace parties to reconstitute the national Assembly as soon as possible.

Wani Michael, the Executive Director for Okay Africa Foundation said the reconstitution of parliament was supposed to be the first priority sometimes ago after incorporation of the peace agreement into the national constitution.

“So we are appealing to the parties to submit the lists of the nominees to the NCAC and so the NCAC will look at the lists and then forward them to the President for appointment,” he said.

According to the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement, the lists of nominees for the reconstitution of parliament were to be submitted for appointment through the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC).

Wani said those who were planning to submit their lists directly to the President should be considered “null and void”.

“And that’s why we are saying that even if, some parties take it to the President without going through the NCAC, then it will be declared null and void because it has not gone through the right procedures, and we should adhere to what the agreement tells us,” he explained.

The activist revealed that the failure to have reconstituted the Assembly has made it possible for the country to experience legislation related challenges which could have been rectified if the parliament was legal.

He called on the country’s leadership and peace parties to implement the Revitalized Peace Agreement without compromising provisions.

“I want to reiterate that the parliament is very significant; we don’t have the national budget and, it is due to lack of reconstituted parliament. It is now almost five months since July,” Wani said.

“We are operating without the national budget because we don’t have the parliament to pass it; we have a number of laws which have not been passed,” he added.

Wani blamed the parliamentarians who could still sit to deliberate on the quorums in the Assembly when it is not even reconstituted according to peace agreement provisions.

“The illegal parliament has been approving loans that are also illegal because when a loan is approved by illegal body then that loan becomes illegal too,” he said.

He called on the peace parties to complete the full implementation of the peace agreement.

When contacted recently on how the country was operating without national budget, Michael Makuei, the government spokesperson said the country was operating normally.  

“The government operations are continuing, there is already a provision in the Constitution that in case of any delay, the President can order the continuation of the budget in accordance to the budget of last year until the new budget comes out,” Makuei explained.

“So there is no problem, the government is operating,” Makuei added.

The activist was speaking during a press conference on youth representation at all levels of government on Wednesday in Juba.   

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