October 11, 2012 (RUMBEK) - The Lakes state parliament has witnessed a heated debate over an amendment to limit the terms of MPs serving on specialised committees from five to two years.
- Lakes state speaker, John Marik Makur, November 29, 2011 (ST)
Last week, Lakes state parliament lawmakers called the speaker of the Lakes state legislative assembly, John Marik Makur, to allow a vote on the term time.
Of the 49 MPs who voted on Monday, 39 were in favour of the change. Makur is therefore expected to dissolve all 18 specialised committees.
On 13 September Makur was criticized by MPs for refusing amendments to the ways parliament is conducted.
On Wednesday, lawmakers were angered by the refusal of deputy speaker Nhial Enock Chahoc to continue a session debating possible changes to term times. One MP is reported to have padlocked the main door of the parliament building in protest. It was reopened on Monday and no further action was taken.
The Lakes State parliament is made up by 49 members representing eight counties. Two MPs are independent candidate who won elections in Wulu county in 2010. The state parliament has 16 specialised committees made up of the 49 members, which some MPs views as a waste of the state’s budget.
In comparison, at the national level in Juba, the Council of States has only 50 MPs and seven specialised committees.
The South Sudan National Assembly has more than 300 MPs with only 18 specialised committees.
Some Lakes state MPs claim that austerity measures demand a streamlined government and that the motivation for some to work on the specialised committees is monetary, rather than serving the electorate.