PARLIAMENT-Delays worrying the public
By John Agok
The country has been running without one of the powerful arms of government, parliament that was supposed tooversee the functioning of public institutions among its daily activities.
The current R-TGoNU has been relying on the executive powers only in running government affairs but could not be able to pass the budget, transitional justice resolutions,and constitution –making process among others if actual parliament not fully reconstituted as outlined in the R-ARCISS signed in 2008.
Speaking to Juba Monitor a number of activists, citizens and some parties to the agreement aired out their views over a government without parliament, starting from National parliament to states legislatures and council of states.
ChuolDuop was worried saying a legitimate parliament was required to work together with executive, but in the present situation there was no parliament and although some members of parliament had been appointed they were yet to take office.
“I am pretty much worried about the continued absence of parliament which is supposed to concurrently run with the executive”, he said.
Sarah Nyang appealed to President Salva Kiir and said in expediting the formation of parliament for peace to be implemented, he should complete the task and let the house resume its work immediately”
I am calling on our president Kiir Mayardit to quickly complete the formation of the parliament so that we can enjoy peace. It is parliament that will make laws to guide us”, she stated.
Jamie David Kolok the Executive Director for Foundation on Democracy, Accountability and Governance (FODAG) called on parties to expedite the nomination process of speaker and its deputy instead of dragging their feet on who was to lead or take up the positions in the parties wrangle.
Kolok also warned parties’ signatory to R-ARCISS to shun out re-negotiating the positions after the list of nominees and to wait for president’sannouncement to take oath and by swearing in all parliamentarians so that a complete government was in place.
“Citizens are worried over the delay on parliament re-constitution and we cannot say that we have the government without parliament that can oversee the functioning of the public institutions as well”, he said.
Kolok decried lack of functional parliament saying this could slow the implementation of the peace deal.
“We cannot implement this peace deal without parliament and not only that, the Budget is supposed to be pass by parliament come next month among others including transitional justice, approving the constitution making process and others national issues that can be deliberate in the parliament”, he added.
Rajab Mohandis the Executive Director for Organization for Responsive Governance (ORG) echoed his view on the delay and urged the parties to fully complete parliament reconstitution as per R-ARCISS and to allow R-TGONU to implement the peace deal adding that even the executive is partially formed since some other commission have not yet been established.
“We have yet seen complete form of both parliament and executive in the R-TGoNU which is tasked by the agreement to implement the peace deal. Executive is not complete since some commissions are yet to be formed. Therefore, budget and constitution making process need parliament to approve them “, he said.
Mohandis wanted the fully formed government that could diffuse the tensions in states and insecurity in the country generally.
“We cannot even have functioning state legislatures that can work closely with state executive to diffuse the on-going tensions in states, including inter-communal violence and to beef up security in hotspot areas”, he said.
However, Puk Buoth Bulang the SPLM/IO public relations officer told Juba Monitor that on behalf of the party apologized to the citizens for on-going delays in parliament reconstitution.
He called the delay process as unjustifiable from SPLM/IO side since they had already sent nomination list to president.
“We really apologized on behalf of SPLM /IO. This delay is not from us, because we have already sent our nomination list to president awaiting for the appointed parliamentarians to fully take oath. We do not know from other parties what could be their delay “, he said.
Bulang denied claims that they were wrangling over the positions of speaker and Dupty Speaker of parliament as claimed.
“We have seen that R-ARCISS detailed clearly that, position of Speaker will go to SPLM and Deputy to SPLM/IO and there should be no more debate about that. We only encourage reasonable and normal lobbying process for such positions”, he added.
Malek Anai the Deputy Secretary for political affairs and Mobilization denied the alleged statement that, there was standoff in the nominating of a speaker of Parliament which had delayed the swearing in of parliamentarians.
“We have no wrangle a party on who should become the speaker of parliament. The committee tasked with these are still reviewing the list of nominees as you have seen the appointment of a Ugandan into parliament which was revoked by the President. Other parties who sent in their lists with irregularities were to be blamed for the delay”, he explained.
In May president Kiir dissolved and reconstituted the parliament from 400 to 550 members of parliament pending the formation of the Councils of States.