August 3, 2016 (JUBA) – Loyalists of the former South Sudan’s First Vice President, Riek Machar, have turned down appointments recommended to President Salva Kiir by the newly appointed First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai, saying the process was illegal.
On Wednesday, President Kiir issued a republican decree reconstituting the 50 additional membership of the opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) to the transitional parliament in Juba.
However, several members have refused to accept their appointments, saying they don’t recognize Gai as the First Vice President. Others also claimed that they were not consulted prior to their appointment or reappointment as they were surprised by seeing their names in the list of the members of parliament.
Nuba Batim, a member of parliament previously nominated by Machar, said she has refused to accept the new reappointment per nomination by Gai, saying she only recognized Machar as the legitimate leader in the opposition faction and in the government.
“Getting positions now is not important to me because that is not what am here for,” wrote Nuba Batim, former MP, on her Facebook page.
“Therefore I have rejected this appointment by Taban Deng Gai to serve in the TGONU because I am loyal to Dr. Riek Machar Teny and the Peace he is struggling to restore in the whole of South Sudan,” she added.
Another MP, Thokkhat Khor Wiu, also said he has turned down the offer by Gai to continue to serve in the parliament under his leadership. He said he did not regret his decision to reject the membership in the parliament.
“I and my other comrades are so proud of our decision to reject our reappointment to our own positions to the national Parliament by IO- Crown Hotel,” he wrote, while referring to a hotel inside which Gai was allegedly nominated in a controversial process on 23 July in Juba.
“If the agreement is disowned by our peace partners, we decided to stand firm with Chairman of SPLM/A-IO Dr. Riek Machar Teny and help him getting back on track again,” he said.
Jordon Long also revealed that he was approached to accept being appointed as MP in Juba, but he refused.
“I was desperately contacted and offered MP position, but angrily turned it down,” he said.
Many others have also rejected the appointments. However, others have accepted their nomination and appointment or reappointment as members of parliament.