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Parliament to vet EALA candidates

The Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) has formed a 20 member Committee to vet candidates, who have applied for elections in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).

The committee composed of 13 members of parliament from the Sudan People’s Liberation movement (SPLM), one from the other political parties and six from the SPLM in opposition.

The members are tasked with verifying whether the candidates are qualified for elections, according to the East African Treaty.

According to Speaker Anthony Lino Makana, the candidates will campaign on Monday ahead of elections on the following day.

Candidates contesting on SPLM-IO ticket are expected to meet their party members of parliament today. Contestants from other political parties will also be briefed on the procedure of the East African Legislative Assembly election rules on Wednesday, according to their respective chief whips.

According to the East African Treaty Article 50, 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 interested groups in that country in accordance with such procedure as the National Assembly of each State may determine.

Section two of the same article says a person shall be qualified to be elected a member of the Assembly by the National Assembly of a Partner State in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article if such a person:  is a citizen of that Partner State;  is qualified to be elected a member of the National Assembly of that Partner State under its Constitution; is not holding office as a Minister in that Partner State; is not an officer in the service of the Community; and has proven experience or interest in consolidating and furthering the aims and the objectives of the Community.

The parliament in June avoided a ruling against South Sudan by the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), by revoking the presidential decree that appointed nine members to the EALA.

The nine MPs initially appointed by President Kiir through a Presidential decree and approved by the
national parliament were, Gabriel Alaak Garang, Thomas Duoth, Gedion Gatpan Thoan, Isaa Aiz Justin, Adil Elias, Gai Dheng Nhial, Joseph Okelle, Ann Itto, and Gabriel Garang.

Wani Santino Jada had filed an application at the EACJ that the elections were against the East African Community Treaty rules on election of EALA members, and sought to bar the swearing in of members and recognition of those from South Sudan.

By Jale Richard


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