September 30, 2013 (RUMBEK) - The parliament of South Sudan’s Lakes state reopened on Monday six months after the state governor unconstitutionally forced the assembly to go into recess.
- Matur Chuot Dhuol was appointed as caretaker governor of Lakes state in January 2013 (ST)
South Sudan’s transitional constitution only permits MPs to take recess of up to three months.
During the reopening of parliament, Lakes state’s military caretaker governor Maj-Gen Matur Chuol Dhuol said that his government has managed to reduce insecurity, although he did not give any details or examples.
Activists have complained that Lakes state is has suffered from injustice at the hands of the security services since South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir replaced the elected governor Chol Tong Mayay in January.
Under South Sudan’s constitution a fresh election should have taken place within three months but no election appears to be planned ahead of the national vote scheduled for 2015.
Governor Dhuol told lawmakers that he will shortly announce new a cabinet but warned that he would swear them into office regardless of whether they endorse his appointments.
The delay in the reopening of parliament was reportedly due to a power struggle between the speaker John Marik Makur and prominent MP Jok Ayom Majak.
President Kiir revisited Lakes state last week, for the first time since campaigning for the 2010 elections, taking the opportunity to instruct the caretaker governor to reopen the assembly.
Kiir warned MPs that if speaker is forced from his position there will be serious consequences. He directed the assembly to maintains the same leadership
Speaker John Marik Makur, called for “cooperation and forgiveness” within the Lakes state parliament. He asked MPs to build trust within their constituencies and work for better cooperation between parliament and executive.
THIRD INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS
South Sudan’s third independence anniversary will be held in Rumbek, the governor said, announcing that new infrastructure will be built ahead of the celebration, which is expected to be attended by South Sudanese and international dignitaries.
Twenty kilometres of road will be built within Rumbek town as well as a new airport and stadium. "Those are important projects that would help state government in promoting development in the state", Dhoul said.