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Troika has no right to advice President Kiir, Gov’t hits back

President Salva Kiir (File Photo)

By David Mono Danga

The Undersecretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Baak Valentino said the Troika members have no right to ask President Salva Kiir to reject the bill passed by the Parliament to extend his term in office until 2021.

“Foreign governments or representatives of foreign governments have no right to advice our president to reject a decision made by our Parliament,” Valentino told journalists during a press conference at the Ministry on Tuesday.

“It is a billeted interference in our internal affairs of a sovereign state. Our Parliament is sovereign and therefore, has the right to amend the Constitution and debate whatever they want to debate. The decision made by the Parliament is for the benefit of the people of this country,” he said.

On Thursday last week, the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) voted “unanimously” to extend the mandate of President Salva Kiir’s government for three more years.

This prompted a widespread condemnation by the International Community, including the TROIKA nations of Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The body released a statement on Friday last week asking President Kiir to reject the Bill passed by the Parliament.

“The Troika are deeply concerned by the South Sudan Transitional National Legislative Assembly’s passage of a Bill to unilaterally extend the transitional government’s term, and calls on President Kiir to reject it,” the statement partly read.

It noted that extending the government’s term in office would not lead to lasting peace in the country, adding that the extension undermines the ongoing peace talks with opposition groups and civil society organizations.

The Troika urged the authorities to focus on negotiating an inclusive transitional governing arrangement that would lead to free and fair elections and new leadership in the most expeditious and responsible manner possible.

“Without a negotiated and inclusive agreement, there can be no sustainable peace in South Sudan,” the Troika warned.

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Paulino Wanawila Unango had 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 that day. The amended Articles include; 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, Article 164 and 165 that further  lengthen  the term and mandate of the office of the state governors.

The mandate of the transitional government was bound to end on the 12th August 2018.  President Salva Kiir will now 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.

 

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