February 12, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, has issued an executive order dismissing Pagan Amum, the embattled secretary-general of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).
- South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (R) and Pagan Amum attend a meeting at the national palace in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in (Photo credit:AU)
Tuesday’s order, which was read on the state-owned SSTV, felt short of mentioning why President Kiir, also the ruling party’s chairperson, sacked the powerful politician.
The president had earlier declared vacant the positions of the SPLM deputy chairperson, previously held by Riek Machar and that of the Secretary General.
Amum was dismissed at the same time as Machar for alleged corruption and other charges and now faces treason charges for alleged involvement in coup attempt.
According to article 16 (8) of the party’s 2008 constitution, the Secretary General shall be elected by the National Liberation Council to the position from amongst its members. The official can also be removed from the office by the same organ in accordance with Article 27 (2) upon recommendation by the chairperson but which must acquire a majority support of the members of the council prior to taking the decision.
“The Secretary General may be removed from office by decision of the National Liberation Council supported by two thirds (2/3) majority of its membership upon the recommendation of the Chairperson or on the request of at least one third (1/3) of the membership of the PB”, stipulates article 27 (2) of the same constitution.
It remains unknown which constitutional provision mandated the president to sack the party’s Secretary General.
Amum was last year suspended from his position as Secretary General and a committee formed to investigate his activities. The President also issued a decree that neither allowed the ex-Secretary General to address the media nor travel outside the country.
An outbreak of violence in the country’s capital, Juba in mid-December last year saw Amum and 10 other senior members of the party arrested and detained for alleged involvement in what government says was a failed coup attempt on the current regime.
But while seven of those initially held were released and sent to Kenya for safety reasons, Amum three of his detained colleagues now face treason charges. Also facing similar charges are the former vice-president Riek Machar, ex-environment minister Alfred Lado Gore and former Unity state governor Taban Deng Gai.