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One week ultimatum to elect EALA members

The East African Court of Justice has given the government of South Sudan one week to allow its national parliament to carry out fresh election for the members to the East African Legislative Assembly.

The decision followed an agreement that was reached between the Secretary General of the East African Community, the government of South Sudan and the petitioner (lawyer) that the government has to carry out fresh elections for its members to the East African Legislative Assembly.

Earlier, Transitional National Legislative Assembly decided to revoke the appointment of the Members of Parliament into the East African Legislative Assembly before the hearing at the East African Court of Justice.

On the 11th of March, 2017, nine members were appointed by President Salva Kiir in a Presidential Decree. However, this appointment was challenged by Lawyer Santino Wani Jada in the East African Court of Justice.

On Friday, lawyer Jada said they reached an agreement after the defense lawyers told the Court that the national parliament had already revoked the appointment of the members to the East African Legislative Assembly.

“We reached an agreement with the two government defense lawyers that they have to conduct elections within one week, and the elections must meet the requirements of article 50 of the East African treaty and in addition to that it must meet the East African Election act requirements of section four,” Jada said.

He said they had resisted the parliament’s revocation of the decree because the parliament was not the one that issued the decree; he said he had wanted the president to revoke his own decree.

But Jada said after being advised by the Court that the parliament is the people’s representative, they withdrew application number eight which they filed for the injunction of the swearing in of the members to the EAC parliament because the injunction was granted.

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

He said application number five-suing the government for the violation of article 50 has not been withdrawn, “in case the government does not fulfill the requirements of article 50, we shall continue with application number which is still there pending in the court,”

Jada added that if the government conducts the elections and meets all the requirements then they will close the case and then other things in accordance with the court’s order.

He said the Secretary General of the East African community told the court that they have written a letter to the government of South Sudan to comply with article 50.

Article 50 of the community governed elections of the members of the East African Legislative Assembly of the community.

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 interest groups in that partner state, in accordance with such procedure as the National Assembly of each partner state may determine,”

Efforts made by Juba Monitor to get comments from the government representatives were futile by press time.

 

 

 

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