August 4, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudan transitional national legislative assembly held the first sitting Thursday and unanimously endorsed Anthony Lino Makana as it’s speaker.
- Lino Makana reacts to his nomination to be the parliament speaker at SPLM Cancus meeting in Juba on July 27, 2016 (ST Photo)
The assembly has been expanded to 400 members from 332 in accordance to the peace accord. The amred opposition nominated 50 MPs. Only 20 opposition MPs attended the first sitting and were sworn and the 10 others nominated by from other political parties.
It is not clear if the absence of the armed opposition MPs is a protest to the leadership of first Vice President Taban Deng Gai who replaced armed opposition leader, Riek Machar.
Makana, who represents Yambio county in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria, called on the country’s rival forces to cease hostilities for peace to prevail in the young nation.
"We have to work hard to implement the peace agreement in spirit and letter. Our people have suffered enough and it is time to end the war in the whole country," he explained.
The outgoing speaker Mannese Magok Rundial pledged to cooperate with his successor. Magok, an MP from former Unity State in Greater Upper Nile Region, had to step down in accordance to the peace agreement that required a speaker from Equatoria region.