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MANDATE –  Parliament extend Kiir’s term to 2021

President Salva Kiir (Photo: Eyeradio)

By Morris Dogga

The Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) yesterday “unanimously” voted to extend the mandate of the government and President Salva Kiir for another three years despite widespread condemnation by international community.

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Paulino Wanawila Unango said the amended constitution was subject to amendment should a new peace deal be signed between the government and the opposition groups.

The amendment bill number five was passed yesterday. 

The amended article were; article 66 of the transitional constitution of South Sudan that extended the tenure of the TNLA, article 100 that prolonged the term and mandate of office of the president.

The other articles were 103 A that elongate the term and mandate of office of the first vice president and Article 164 and article 165 that further  lengthen  the term and mandate of the office of the state governors.

The transitional government mandate was to end by 12th August 2018 and should it not be extended; there would be a constitutional vacuum.

The amended constitution showed that President Salva Kiir would rule until 2021.

The constitution also gives President Kiir the powers to appoint state governors in all states except in the former Upper Nile and Unity Sate where the nomination had to be done by the First vice President.

The state governors have also been given the powers to appoint and relieve the state advisors and the Ministers.

However, Some Members of Parliament had wanted the mandate to be extended for at least five years to give the government more time to prepare for the elections.

The international community and some civil society organizations had condemned the move to extend the tenure of the government. Early this week a lawyer threatened to take the whole government to court if the TNLA passed the bill.

This is the second time parliament extended the mandate of the government and President Salva Kiir. In 2015, parliament extended the government’s tenure after the mandate of the elected leadership in 2010 expired.

A Member of Parliament, Gabriel Guot Guot said the government had the right to extend its mandate because it was avoiding what he called a constitutional vacuum.

Guot said any vacuum would lead to chaos since the government may not have any mandate to perform other duties.

President Kiir is currently engaged with his former first vice President Dr. Riek Machar in peace negotiations to end the five years-old civil war.


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