February 28, 2014 (JUBA) - The government of South Sudan’s Western Bahr el Ghazal state has rejected it’s parliament’s decision to impeach finance minister, Lillian Valentino Rizik after she failed to appear before lawmakers on medical grounds.
Western Bahr el Ghazal’s information minister, Alfred Derek Uya, said his finance counterpart had, in a 26 February letter, apologised for not being able to attend parliament and asked the assembly to reschedule it to 3 March.
The letter was addressed to the speaker of the state assembly.
"This letter was turned down by the parliament and it resorted to its unilateral no confidence vote on Wednesday" minister Uya said in a statement.
He however said his government was studying resolutions and procedures used by the parliament to dismiss the finance minister without notifying the executive branch.
Uya further confirmed that state government had received a letter directed to the deputy governor confirming the dismissal of minister Rizik by parliament.
"It is suppressing the state government if the state assembly members can just decide to unilaterally dismiss any minister without the knowledge of the state government. This decision is questionable. There should have been communications before the decision because this is something within the competence of the same government", he argued.
The reason why the minister of finance could not respond on time, he said, was because of illness and she sent medical forms to the speaker, which the lawmakers allegedly ignored.
The minister, however, cautioned politicians against acting for their personal interests and accused the state parliament of acting contrary to its conduct of business rules.
Rizik becomes the first senior Western Bahr el Ghazal official to be dismissed by the state parliament.