August 23, 2013 (JUBA) – South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit has issued a presidential decree appointing the speaker of the national parliament, James Wani Igga, as the country’s new vice-president.
- South Sudan’s new vice-president, James Wani Igga (Photo Moses Lomayat)
The appointment comes exactly 30 days after Kiir sacked his long-time former deputy Riek Machar Teny following an apparent internal power struggle within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).
In a surprise move, Kiir also dismissed his entire cabinet and ordered an investigation into SPLM secretary-general Pagan Amun.
In the decree issued on Friday and read on the state-owned South Sudan Radio, Igga automatically relinquishes the position of speakership in the national parliament, leaving lawmakers to elect a new speaker.
Before he officially takes office, Igga’s appointment will have to be vetted by the national parliament, but first he must tender his resignation as speaker.
Igga is considered by some as a weak leader who lacks seriousness in governance and there are concerns his appointment may be rejected as was the case with the former nominated justice minister, Telar Ring Deng.
Machar is believed to be among the top candidates to replace Igga in the position of speaker.
Kiir is expected to meet with the SPLM caucus on Saturday in a bid to mobilise their support for Igga, as well as discuss the future leadership in parliament.