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South Sudan’s MPs discuss extending Kiir term for more three years

July 2, 2018 (JUBA) — South Sudanese parliament Monday has started a debate on a constitutional amendment bill extending President Salva Kiir’s mandate for additional three years.

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South Sudanese MPs stand during a parliamentary session in Juba on 31 August 2011 (AFP)

In a speech to the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA), Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Paulino Wanawilla Unango indicated that the bill extends the term of President Kiir, his deputies and the parliament to July 2021

The extensions will enable President Kiir and the parliament to rule the country during the transitional period and avoid a constitutional vacuum in the country.

During the past months, South Sudanese officials threatened that if no agreement was reached through the IGAD brokered process, the government would organize new presidential elections and brush aside the implementation of the 2015 peace agreement.

The government and the different opposition groups pledged last week in a declaration signed in Khartoum to settle the outstanding issues in the governance and security arrangements chapters of 2015 peace agreement.

The Constitutional Amendment Bill 2018 will be discussed by the TNLA committee of legislation. Once the deliberations are completed, the legislative assembly is expected to endorse it.

This is not the first time the parliament of 2011 vote such bill.

In March 2015, South Sudanese lawmakers passed a constitutional amendment extending for more three years president Salva Kiir’s mandate in office.