July 4, 2014 (JUBA) – A debate on South Sudan’s 2014/2015 national budget could not commence on Monday after parliament witnessed a complete power blackout.
- South Sudanese parliament
The parliamentary select committee on economy, development and finance was due to present its recommendations to lawmakers on the budget estimates presented by the finance minister on 2 July.
“We cannot read the budget now to the parliament, but I hope to present it tomorrow,” Goc Makuac Mayol, the chairperson for the economy, development and finance, told reporters in the assembly.
Mayol could not explain the circumstances under which the national parliament power system failed, but was optimistic the power problem would be resolved.
South Sudan, including its national capital, Juba, has no reliable electricity supply as both government and the private sector rely on generators for power.
Meanwhile, Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO), a South Sudanese civil society entity urged the country’s lawmakers to give public hearing on the national budget a chance.
“National budget is priority for the public to have a say on. Thus the process of making the budget needs to be inclusive enough to the level that makes every citizen feel the importance of being a South Sudanese. An exclusive national budget process demonstrates lack of will on the existence of democratic principles,” CEPO said in a statement to Sudan Tribune.
“As representatives of citizens, lawmakers should give them a chance to have inputs in the budget,” it added.