Opposition MPs want Justice Minister to cancel House sittings
National Assembly MPs from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition have called on the Minister of Justice to cancel the ongoing sittings in Parliament.
“The minister of justice should advise the presidency and the leadership of the parliament to resolve the impasse that caused the boycott by the peace partner, other political parties and individuals who know that there is something wrong going on in the parliament,” said Bol Joseph Agau, a member of parliament under the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA).
“We call upon the minister of justice not to legalise the violation of the revitalised agreement by presenting any bills related to the implementation of the revitalised agreement.”
The call came as the opposition MPs and other parties to the agreement entered the second week of their boycott of the parliamentary sitting.
The main opposition party lawmakers boycotted sittings after the legislative assembly enacted the Political Parties Act, 2012 Amendment Bill last month.
This was after the May 30 incident when the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) passed the Political Parties Act 2012 (Amendment) Bill 2022, dropping some reforms introduced as per the agreement.
Agau, the NDM Member of Parliament, maintained that this bill was being passed without consensus. He said the bill should have public consultations because it’s not a private entity.
“As we speak, we wanted the transformations, we wanted the reforms, a permanent constitution for this country. But because the SPLM does not want that the processes to reach a permanent constitution are already being bent so that they don’t conform to the requirements of the public,” he lamented.
Agau argued that ongoing sittings of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly in the absence of key parties to the agreement was illegal.
“We condemn such continuous sitting of the parliament without resolving the issues that led to SPLM-IO boycotting the parliament in the strongest possible terms,” he said
“The sittings are contrary to the provisions of the revitalised agreement. The absence of the SPLM-IO in the parliament renders all business null and void.
“The parties to the revitalised agreement are important according to the provisions what is important are the caucuses.”
He said efforts to address this impasse is critical to creating harmony between all parties to the revitalised agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan.
Another opposition lawmaker, Juol Nhomngek Daniel, said the SPLM-IO party members have vowed not to return to parliament until their grievances are addressed by the presidency.
“We shall continue boycotting as long as the matter is not resolved. Dr. Riek Machar is willing to meet with the president but we don’t know what is happening on the other side,” Daniel said.
He hinted that Dr. Machar told the party members that he was waiting for the president to resolve this matter.
“The parliament is the parliament of the parties; a quorum is instituted when all members of the political parties are present,” he emphasised
They blamed the speaker for the delay in resolving the matter.
“The speaker is not concerned because they have achieved what they wanted. They wanted to reverse all the decisions concerning the agreement to go back to the pre-2018 agreement,” he explained.
The City Review’s attempts to contact the chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Information, John Agany, were futile by press time.
However, the Minister of Information, Michael Makuei had expressed the stand of the government that as long as the required quorum will be met by the House, the sittings would continue.