October 29, 2013 (RUMBEK) – The newly elected speaker of South Sudan’s Lakes state assembly on Monday took oath with calls for unity among fellow lawmakers in the region.
Baipath Majuec Rielpou was unanimously elected last week after a caucus of the governing party (SPLM) members forced his predecessor, John Marik Makur to resign over series of accusations.
“I will work for better understanding between lawmakers and [the] executive to build better state for understanding and cooperation”, said the new speaker.
Cooperation between [the] three strong state pillars, composed [of] parliament, [the] judiciary and executive will let [the] state move forward to a better state of development and fair justice, he added.
Majuec, who hails from Cueibet county, also vowed to bridge the ongoing rift between the assembly and the executive which, according to many, was the sole reason for the ex-speaker’s woes.
“I will try to work in harmony with assembly. I will not interfere into their affairs. I am there to lead the assembly and to give every chance to every member to say what is right because it is democratic country and this is why Parliament is there,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Marial Amuom Malek, who was initially elected by the caucus at the new speaker, could not take oath after the state governor allegedly rejected his bid to steer the lawmaking body.
“The military caretaker Maj-Gen Matur Chut Dhuol and SPLM chairperson Daniel Awet Akot did not like Marial Amuom Malek to become speaker because he has been very critically looking into caretaker governor’s system,” said a lawmaker, who preferred anonymity.
It still remains unclear why the caucus, which initially endorsed Amuom as speaker, opted for another candidate despite the latter getting 28 votes out of about 40 cast.
Prior to the change of mind, however, the caucus choice of Amuom as the new speaker only awaited approval from President Salva Kiir.
Lake state assembly comprises 48 lawmakers, of which 46 belong to the south-ruling party.