December 5, 2013 (JUBA) – A rift between officials from South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Warrap state and their governor continues, a month after the latter swore in her new cabinet without parliamentary approval.
- Warrap state governor Nyandeng Malek at a SPLM gathering in Kwajok April 15, 2013 (ST)
The SPLM officials insist Governor Nyandeng Malek swore in the cabinet in contravention of the state constitution.
“The house maintains that the action of the governor to appoint and decide unilaterally to swear in the new cabinet without parliamentary approval in accordance with article 56 (1) (2) (g) and 106 (1) is a crime punishable by law,’’ James Machok Deng, a state Member of Parliament told Sudan Tribune.
The governor’s office says the reshuffle was minor and did not need the approval of the state assembly.
But James Machok Deng argues that even what the governor’s office terms as a minor reshuffle needs approval of the assembly.
‘‘There is no provision in the constitution which talks about minor reshuffling,” he said.
Deng argues that that article 111 (1) of the Warrap constitution states that ministers of the state government shall be appointed and removed by the governor after approved by the house.
“Article 111 (2) states that appointment of the ministers of the state government shall be approved by a resolution of the state legislative assembly adopted by a simple majority vote of all members,’’ the lawmaker explained in an exclusive interview from the state capital, Kwajok.
The legislator further pointed out that the same article 111 (3) states that ministers of the state government shall be selected with due regard to the need for inclusiveness based on competence, integrity, gender and ethnic diversity in the state, which was not the case in Nyadeng’s cabinet.
‘‘This was why the governor decided to avoid taking the list of the new cabinet members for approval because she feared some of her allies would be rejected,’’ Deng said.
However, Joseph Anei Madoor, the director for public and political affairs in Warrap state governor’s office denied reports of divisions in the state over the cabinet.
“There is no division in the state. The new cabinet was approved by the leadership of the house. The speaker and the government chief whip were in attendance,” said Madoor.
“Our government is the best rated government among the previous administrations because it cares about people and their property,’’ Madoor added.
Meanwhile, Rose Achindhel Kecthiek, head of the Warrap women union said her association supports the state administration despite the controversies over the new cabinet.
“We would never retreat from supporting the government of Warrap not because it is led by a woman- Nyadeng, but because of the achievements she and her team have made,” Kecthiek said in a statement to Sudan Tribune.
Warrap-based leaders of civil society groups have also expressed support for the governor.
“The civil society groups in the state have unanimously resolved to forge a unity of purpose in protecting the image of the state and to embrace peace, security and human development,” the civil society members said in a statement.