March 21, 2013 (RUMBEK) - Lakes State Legislative Assembly received a strict letter of instruction from the military caretaker Governor Maj-Gen Matur Chut Dhuol on Wednesday asking lawmakers not to debate make reductions in the state budget for 2012-2013.
The letter, which was addressed to the parliament’s speaker John Marik Makur, stated that "whatever reason or reasons that have let the Assembly to make these changes please stop them forthwith and let either the Legislative Assembly budget or the Secretariat General budgets remain as budget remain as budgeted."
He added: “I am writing to you this brief note for it has come to my knowledge that the August House had made some reductions and transfer of some amounts on the 2013 budget. To be specific I am told that the August House has reduced 289,407 SSP from the State House services budget and had added this amount to the State Legislative Assembly budget. I also understand that the Assembly has also deducted 15,000 SSP from the Secretariat General operating budget of 363,387 SSP and spread it as following. (1), 2,000 SSP to Information, (2), 2,000 SSP to Youth and Sport and 11,000 SSP to yourself (LSLA services)."
Shortly after he was appointed in January Dhoul said that he would close the assembly if politicians continued to discuss politics.
Lakes state MP Marial Amuom Malek responded pointing out that the "Assembly is a talking institution, if we are prevented now not to talk politic, what shall we do?"
Malek said that the Assembly members "were elected by our people to talk and work to serve their interest".
The Governor ban on politics being discuss was a "surprise for many of us". The letter, Malek said, was provocative as he was attempting to undermine the state parliament.
He advised the Governor to stop making speeches threatening to close the parliament if political debate continues, describing his behaviour as "unacceptable".
The Governor should respect the state’s laws, he said, rather than "military rush hours laws", referring to the governor’s controversial security policies.
Malek said that lawmakers will make final decision on Monday whether to pass the budget unchanged as requested by the Governor or to "operate without budget".
The 2013 budget is worth only 1.2 million South Sudan Pounds (SSP) per a month.