October 26, 2013 (RUMBEK) – A caucus meeting for South Sudan-ruling party (SPLM) members from Lakes state on Saturday asked the assembly speaker to forcefully resign, ending weeks of political bickering.
- Outgoing Lakes state assembly speaker John Marik Makur September 22, 2010 (ST/File)
Lawmakers accused the speaker, John Marik Makur, of allegedly undermining the state constitution, while others claimed his close links with the caretaker governor, Matur Choul Dhuol interfered with the assembly functions.
Plans were also underway to have Makur impeached from his post.
Daniel Awet Akot, the SPLM chairperson in the state faced intense pressure, while chairing the meeting, from a group of about 34 lawmakers who demanded that Makur either resigns or be impeached.
“After [the] speaker resigned, the caucus put three SPLM candidates to replace [the] former speaker The candidates were Hon. Marial Amuom Malek with 28 votes, Hon. Andrew Acijok Yak with 2 votes and Hon. Dhieu Wal Takping with 6 votes”, said a source that attended the session held in the state capital, Rumbek.
Amuom was declared the winner during the caucus meeting, but waits approval from South Sudan President Salva Kiir, he added.
Meanwhile, the outgoing speaker called for forgiveness from lawmakers and advised them to build trust within their constituents.
“Cooperation between parliament and [the] executive will be paramount”, he said upon accepting the caucus decision.
On October 10, a group of 36 lawmakers from the state declared a two-week sit-down strike against the state government claiming that the state assembly speaker has undermined the state constitutional mandate over his friendship with the governor.
President Kiir, during his visit to the state last month, instructed the governor to re-open the assembly, which had been on an extended six-month recess period.
46 out of the 48 lawmakers in the state assembly are from the SPLM.