August 25, 2013 (JUBA) The South Sudan parliament has delayed electing new speaker after failing to reach a consensus over who should replace newly-appointed vice-president James Wani Igga.
- South Sudanese members of parliament take the oath in the capital Juba on August 6, 2011 (Getty)
President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Friday appointed Igga as his new deputy, replacing Riek Machar whom he relieved during a major cabinet shake-up last month.
The house, which earlier endorsed Igga’s appointment, held its first session amid a political deadlock, as the Upper Nile parliamentary group failed to agree on who should be the new speaker.
The leadership of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has resolved that the position of the speaker be fulfilled by a nominee from the greater Upper Nile region.
However, members from the region have complained that the leadership should have asked the parliament to conduct a vote on members of the parliament from the region, rather than asking them to nominate a candidate.
“I know our people; they will not bring the candidate because almost [all] of them are proposing themselves. They will not bring the candidate even if they are given one year. The SPLM caucus should have allowed the voting to be carried out in the parliament for those members who would contest the seat from Upper Nile region if that is the arrangement, Gordon Buay”, a spokesman for the ex-rebel group, said on Saturday.
Deputy speaker Daniel Awet Akot said the house had postponed election of the new speaker to allow members more time to consult between themselves and the senior leadership.
More than four candidates from Upper Nile region, including Machar, have so far shown interest in contesting the seat.