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South Sudan’s Maiwut speaker denies impeachment

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August 27, 2019 (JUBA) - The Speaker of South Sudan’s Maiwut state has dismissed reports claiming he has been impeached and replaced from his parliamentary role, pointing accusing fingers to the incumbent governor.

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Chuol D. Kir, Speaker of Maiwut State (ST photo)

Chuol D. Kir, Speaker of Maiwut State Transitional Legislative Assembly, told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that reports claiming he was removed from his positions were advancing the activities of the governor and his group whose activities are not based on the constitution and guiding principles.

I would like to say that I am still the speaker of Maiwut state. I am not been removed from my duties. What is circulating on social media are false. False reports are circulating on the media outlets that I have been removed from the position of Speakership, explained Kir.

The top legislator explained that what happened last week on Wednesday was the opening of the secession of parliament after the members returned from the recess and the governor opened it.

“What happened last Wednesday was the opening of the second session ceremony whereby Hon. Governor addressed the Assembly and declared the official opening of the Assembly. In the history of South Sudan State Legislative Assembly before and after the Independence of the Republic of South Sudan, there is no business on the day of the opening of Assembly apart from the celebration for the opening function. Removal of Speaker and Deputy Speaker require legal and constitutional procedures”, he explained.

Kir explained that the decision of his deputy was unconstitutional and does not consider it valid because the official was purportedly acting on the influence of the governor Bol Ruach Rom.

The deputy speaker, James Ruach Long, believed to have been the person who spearheaded the plot on behalf of the governor, claimed in separate news reports the speaker Kir was impeached by 15 members.

Observers with direct knowledge of the events attribute the cause to a long-standing political rift between the governor and his deputy, escalating to legislature arm of the government where members, like in the executive branch, were selected from different political camps under the 2005 peace agreement.

The deputy governor was a nominee of the political group and faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement allied to President Salva Kiir and the governor was a nominee of the splinter of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition under the first vice president Taban Deng Gai.

Changes in either the cabinet in the state or legislature are, according to the deal, should be carried out by the decision of the leadership of each faction to the agreement.

The group allied to President Kiir, according to the deal, are subject to removal from their position based on the recommendation from the leadership they represent in any of the structure.

This arrangement, according to sources who have spoken to Sudan Tribune, has been breached by the incumbent governor, claiming all ministers from the group allied to president Kiir have been removed from their positions and replaced with those allied to the governor and the first vice president.

“This is a clear violation of the agreement. We have brought it to the attention of our leadership in Juba. The governor has removed all the cabinet ministers from our side and replaced them with his own people, actually, majority of the people he has appointed to replace some comrades are from his clan”, a legislator allied to Speaker Kir and a member of President Kiir’s faction explained on Wednesday.

(ST)

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