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W. Bahr el Ghazal finance minister impeached by state parliament

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February 26, 2014 (JUBA) - The Legislative Assembly in South Sudan’s border state of Western Bahr el Ghazal has impeached Lilian Valentino Rizik MP, allegedly for failing to appear before the house despite repeated notification.

The vote of no confidence was reportedly cast against the minister at the session chaired by the state speaker, Mayar Acho, during which 34 members approved her removal, while only two members stood in support of the official. Two others abstained.

It remains unclear why a mere failure to appear could prompt immediate withdrawal of confidence, although multiple legislators claimed behaviour of the minister amounted to "insubordination" of the House.

Other officials claimed the MPs had taken out their anger on the minister for cutting their salaries.

"Yes I heard majority members of parliament passed the vote of no confidence against the minister of finance. They say she failed to appear before the house with the 2013- 2014 budget, despite being notified several times", a Northern Bahr el Ghazal state cabinet minister told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.

"Other issues may also have triggered this decision, especially the cutting of their salaries. I am told 4,000 South Sudanese pounds for each Member of Parliament was cut and 5,000 for the chairpersons of the specialised committees. This irritated them because I am told there was no explanation given to them."

The official who did not want to be identified, said county councils have not been payed their sitting allowances and there was no explanation by the ministry of finance.

Sudan Tribune was not able to independently these claims as the state government did not provide immediate response to the development despite several attempts to reach the Northern Bahr el Ghazal information minister.

(ST)

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