October 25, 2013 (JUBA) – The ruling South Sudan’s political party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), said it will investigate the current constitutional crisis in the state of Upper Nile where its members in the executive have directly interfered with the internal affairs of the party dominated state parliament.
Upper Nile state governor Simon Kun Puoch, this week, fired the state assembly speaker and his deputy and issued another gubernatorial decree appointing a new speaker and deputy.
The governor and the former and new speakers are members of the SPLM.
The action faced outcry from senior party leaders who said the governor had no authority to determine the leadership for the lawmakers.
Riek Machar, a former vice president and vocal critic of president Salva Kiir’s government, criticized the direct intervention, saying the governor acted outside the constitution and called on the judiciary to intervene and uphold the constitutions of the country.
Puoch a week before dismissing the leadership of the parliament and reappointing a new one announced on the state-owned SSTV in Juba that he received a green light from president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, to direct the state parliament.
However, the SPLM acting secretary general, Ann Itto, on Friday explained that the party secretariat was sending a team to the state capital, Malakal, on a fact finding mission in order to look into the crisis.
Itto made the remarks to the press after a meeting with the new vice-president, James Wani Igga, during which she said she briefed the second deputy SPLM chairperson on the constitutional incidents involving members of the party.
She further added that another team will be sent to Lakes state by national secretariat to acquaint itself with the recent power wrangling in the state parliament that led to the impeachment of the speaker.