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Parliament revokes MPS appointment to east african community assembly

The Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) has revoked the appointment of Members of Parliament to the East African Legislative Assembly.

The revocation was made on Tuesday this week, two days before the hearing of a petition against the appointment filed by local advocate in the East African Court.

The case was supposed to be determined today over the appointment made by President Salva Kiir in March this year in what the petition filed, listed improper appointments to the East African Legislative Assembly. The laws of the East African Legislative Assembly require the members to be nominated and selected by the member country’s parliament.

Contacted for comment by Juba Monitor yesterday, Presidential Press Secretary Ateny Wek Ateny said the decision taken by TNLA to revoke the presidential decree for the appointment of the Members of Parliament to East African Assembly was done to avoid the country from running into constitutional crisis within the East African Community.

The Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) overturned the presidential decree for the appointment of MPs to the East African Parliament following a court case pending resolution of the case.

Speaking to Juba Monitor on phone yesterday, Ateny said the revocation was done to make the right procedure for the election of MPs to the East African Assembly.

“It was done to commensurate with the laws and regulations of the East African Parliament. This is because the East African Parliament requires that Members to the East African Legislative Assembly should be elected at the level of a parliament from the member states,” Ateny said.

He explained that the right procedure for MPs to go to the East African Parliament should be according to the requirements of the East African rules and regulations.

“The right way is to elect the members. So, all those liable will be taken to the parliament and the parliament will ask the intention if there are more people who want to aspire for the East African Parliament,” he said. “Then it will have to be done through elections so that we avoid running into constitutional crisis with the East African Community,” he added.

When asked about the pending court case in East Africa to annul the appointment of MPs to the East African Assembly, Ateny expressed uncertainty on the court proceedings.

“I don’t know if there will be a reason for the court to proceed. The court would proceed if they could prove the violations of the rules and regulations of getting MPs to the East African Assembly,” he said.

The Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), Edmund Yakani said the revocation of the presidential decree on the MPs to East African Parliament was a sign of commitment to respect legal procedures.

“We need to keep our commitment respecting legal procedures because leaders are in breach of legal procedures. I think what the Parliament has done is correct,” he said. “I would wish that the Parliament should maintain the standard of legal procedures of how South Sudanese should get into the East African Parliament,” Yakani added.

He urged the leaders of this country to learn ways of following legal procedures and provisions in order to avoid a repeat of a similar case in future.

“We should keep ourselves as professionals as much as possible for us to respect legal procedures and provisions,” he said.

Yakani appreciated MP Dengtiel Kur for moving the motion for the revocation of the presidential decree that appointed seven MPs to the East African Assembly… and the advocate who filed the case to the East African Court for their move in following legal provisions.

Earlier, a South Sudanese advocate filed a petition to the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) against the government for the manner in which seven members from South Sudan were appointed to the East African Legislative Assembly.

The petition case was filed on 4th May under Reference No. 05/2017 in the EACJ in Kampala by Wani Santino against the Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, Anthony Lino Makana, the Attorney General of South Sudan and the Secretary General of the East African Community, Dr. Libérat Mfumukeko.

According to Advocate Santino, the petitioner, Article 50 of the community governs election of the members of the East African Legislative Assembly of the community.

“This action has seriously contravened the provision of Article 50 of the EAC treaty. It therefore needs our attention to file notice of motion as interest parties to challenge the constitutionality of such decision,” Santino told Juba Monitor earlier.

On Thursday the 9th of March, 2017, President Salva Kiir Mayardit appointed seven representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly. The members are:

Gabriel Alaak Garang, Dr. Ann Itto Leonardo, Dr. Gabriel Garang Aher, Gai Deng Nhial, Joseph Okello, Thomas Duoth and Gideon Gatban Thoan.

By Sworo Charles Elisha

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