Home | News    Monday 25 March 2013

N. Bahr el Ghazal legislators call for dissolution of parliament


March 24, 2013 (JUBA) - Members of the politically divided parliament in Northern Bahr el Ghazal have begun calling on South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir Mayardit to consider dissolving the state assembly to end an ongoing dispute between lawmakers.

South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution gives the president the right to remove a State governor and dissolve the state parliament in the event that a conflict in the area becomes a national security threat, or a situation that is likely to generate instability and social disorder.

Northern Bahr el Ghazal is one of the few areas of South Sudan, which enjoys relative internal peace and stability, unlike some of the young nation’s other nine states, which have been scarred by violence before and after independence in 2011.

However, the state has been experiencing political disquiet since the elected speaker was removed in June 2012 by an executive order from Northern Bahr el Ghazal Governor Paul Malong Awan. The move is generating significant tension between the executive organ and some members of the legislature.

In February this year, acting on a resolution from the upper house of South Sudan’s parliament, president Kiir’s office issued an executive order asking Governor Awan to immediately reinstate the speaker and six other state MPs without conditions. The president also called for the convening of a political convention in the state to promote peace and harmony.

Almost a month later, however, the governor presented Kiir’s letter to parliament and distanced himself from the conflict. He instead told lawmakers that South Sudanese president had instructed him to act on the internal dispute in an independent institution.

On 18 March, the parliament convened a session to discuss the president directive but half of state’s MPs boycotted the session, asserting that they do not have the constitutional competence to hold such a debate.

However, head of the information and public relations in the state house, Majang Ngor Kuany, denied in an interview with Sudan Tribune that the quorum was incomplete, claiming that the house unanimously resolved to pass a resolution objecting reinstatement of the speaker.

The members, he said, also in the same resolution demanded that a directive for other six expelled members of parliament on allegations that they were collaborating with other political parties, must come from the head office of South Sudan’s governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and not the directive of the president who was acting on the resolution of the Council of States

“The house unanimously passed a resolution which states clearly that impeachment of the speaker was sole responsibility of members of parliament under conduct of business. They have the right to elect their house leaders including the speaker of the house. The only position person appointed outside the house is the government chief whip. [The] rest are elected”, Kuany told Sudan Tribune from Aweil town last week.

The head of the human rights and legal affairs committee in the Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Garang Majak Bol, also disputed reports that half of the parliament’s members walked out. He described statements attributed to the nine members as “misleading and incorrect”.

“The quorum was complete and the discussions held were constitutional. They [the MPs who boycotted the session] were only five members not nine”, Bol claimed in an interview with Sudan Tribune also from Aweil town.

Speaking in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Sunday another state MP, Benson Malo said it was time president Kiir “steps in” to dissolve the house and remove the state governor because the dispute had paralysed the house to the extent that it was no longer exercising constitutional functions as an independent institution.

“I think it is time the president takes action. He has constitutional powers to dissolve the house and remove state governor in such a situation, especially that his constitutional prerogatives are being openly violated. It will give bad impression if he does not act”, Malo told Sudan Tribune on Sunday from Aweil town, capital of the state.

However, the former head of the agriculture committee in the Northern Bahr el Ghazal parliament, Santino Mayuat Ngong, disputed Bol’s account claiming to be one of the nine MPs to boycott the discussion on the presidential directive.

Ngong said he walked out because there were neither legal grounds nor constitutional rights for him to participate in the discussion. He also called for the dissolution of the house and for the removal of the state governor.

Ngong said it was time for members of the public to decide for themselves whether it was right for the state parliament to discuss and reject the directive of the president.

“Honestly, it will be a bad precedent if the president does not take strong action because state parliaments do not have any mandate to discuss decree and directive of the president anywhere. There is no constitutional provision at all. We also do not have powers to discuss a resolution of the council of states. Another reason why I walked out was that the letter was not addressed to the parliament. It was addressed to the governor himself by the president. We were not even given any copy. It was a direct directive asking for immediate implementation of the resolution of the council of states. Does the president not know our address if he wanted the house to be involved”, asked Ngong in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Saturday from Aweil.

Another state MP who boycotted discussion on the directive of the president, William Wel, told Sudan Tribune on Saturday that there is "a strong reason" for the president should to immediately remove governor Awan and dissolve parliament.

“I have two questions which I would like the media to pass on to the president. One of the questions I want to know is whether the president has been removed from his position of being the chairperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. I also want to know whether he has given his powers to Deputy Secretary of the SPLM, Anne Itto. I am asking these questions because it appears some members in the house are saying the expelled six SPLM members will only return to the house if they get directive from SPLM office at the national Secretariat, especially the office of Anne Itto”, he said.

Wel said the directive of the president in the letter he addressed to governor Awan was very clear in that he asked him in his capacity as the chairperson of the SPLM to reinstate the six expelled SPLM members and in his capacity as the president of the country to reinstate Aguer Wol Aguer as the legitimate speaker of the house.

“The letter itself was very clear. There was nothing confusing in it. The president was writing in his capacity has head of the state to ask for reinstatement of the speaker and in his capacity as chairperson of the SPLM to ask for reinstatement of the other six expelled members of the SPLM. This is very clear. What is needed is only implementation”, Wel told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

The legislator, who is currently visiting Juba, said the house has been unable to hold a consensual parliamentary session for several months after the speaker was removed from the SPLM dominated state assembly.

"I tell you the only solution is to dissolve the house and remove the governor. The current political system in the state, from the Governor down the ministers and county commissioners, is completely frustrating and has paralysed every effort. It is sufficiently clear that the state does not want to wait another year. We must go and want the members of the public to get involve now for president to act", Wel said.

The legislator did not say whether he and his allies will resign should the president not respond to their calls in a timely fashion.

Should the president dissolve the Northern Bahr el Ghazal parliament, it will be the first time he has used that constitutional power since he was granted it in 2011.

Sacking a state governor does have a precedent, however, as Kiir dismissed the elected Governor of Lakes state, Chol Tong Mayay, in January following widespread insecurity and inter-communal fighting.

The political turmoil has held up preparations and deliberation over the state budget, which includes economic development plans supposed to provide a series of infrastructure projects, as well as diversifying the economy and attracting foreign investment.

The latest deadlock has also frozen parliamentary debate, raising fear that a fight similar to what happened in 2011-2012, in which the assembly was not even able to approve a budget for the whole financial year, may repeat itself.


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  • 25 March 2013 07:03, by julia

    malual Giernyang.
    u re peace loving community in s.sudan compare to some predetors in Lake state, warrap and unity state & jonglei. Pls sit down and sort out all out standing issue for sake of ur vulnerable community whom same re starving and the daily dead from Arab raid. Unity is strenght than choais for food sake that is Nuer behaviours isn,t in Jieng life!

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  • 25 March 2013 08:20, by nhomachotdeng

    Two presidents in one country ever in the world but in South Sudan Kiir as persident elected and Malong the governor personal claim president in Northern bahr el ghazal state.we are confused who is the president Kiir or Malong? Kiir must step down if Malong a presiedent or Malong must be removed if Kiir is the presiedent of South Sudan.The same Malong confuses people in mile 14.

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    • 25 March 2013 08:47, by Tiitrot

      Dear idiotic Mps,
      Since when did you come to know that Malong is not the best governor when you were slaughtering your own people and calling him as King Paul,not knowing what was behind? As a citizen of Northern Bhar el Ghazal, I would like to take this precious opportunity to welcome Kiir’s directives but not to replace Malong as he did in Lakes State.

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      • 25 March 2013 08:55, by Tiitrot

        Simply because Dau Aturjong was elected by the majority of people and you fucken MPs who are today confusing refused Kiir not to give Dau his rights as if he was a non citizen when he fought the war with us in the bush, Malong should remain in that position and feed his 100 wives and more than 200 children with that money such that you should stop electing fools to gubernatorial post.

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  • 25 March 2013 08:28, by nhomachotdeng

    What is between Malong and Kiir? this people might had participated in killing of very important person in this country that is why Malong is doing this here and there without consquences and because of this Kiir will never do anything to Malong beacuse Malong may expose the screts to people of South Sudan.finally both Malong and Kiir must go out by all ways to let them keep their screts outside.

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  • 25 March 2013 08:45, by Mike Mike

    Let’s remain calm because the days of these people who claimed for being the good leaders are now coming to an end,so we will be free from their bad ruling very soon.Those local lawmakers are right,they have really suffered alot under Malong his bad leadership.They can’t be blamed for calling for the dissolution of State Assembly and the removable of State governor for pple to regained love/peace.

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  • 25 March 2013 09:09, by Turism

    Waaw what a big mess btn the president and lawmakers? since the parliament is for legislators, what let other top officials engange in parliamentarian decision.

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    • 25 March 2013 10:27, by EES Kingmaker

      The MPs should be firm and decisive if what they want is to put things right. Removing the Speaker unconstitutionally is a source of insecurity and instability which peaceful state like NBGS can’t afford the way I see it.

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  • 25 March 2013 10:23, by nhomachotdeng

    group of Pagan are behind crises in Aweil especially Ajong Mawut and Ajong Akol plus Ping Deng Kuol who always put his arab long nose in Aweil fairs while supporting Pagan to become president and he become Minister of defence while Ajong mawut as minister of finance acording the meeting on 16-3-2013 by Luo group led by Mark nyibuoch.Please Pieng you will died this year.

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    • 25 March 2013 14:14, by kuac Agol

      You probably don,t know who will bring S.Sudan to a totally destruction
      You are among them and because of your small mind to understand what is what in Aweil
      But you should rather go back to study properly what is the root cause of this kind of squabbling and misunderstanding between the House and President so that you may know who is right and who wrong

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  • 25 March 2013 10:28, by King of Nyamlel

    When the doctor is sick, who will treat the patients? Lawmakers are personally rivaling for their interests. How many groups now? the voice of Menson, Majang and mayuat are very very different. Who is telling and doing what? RESCUE, rescue, rescue Mading Aweil from crocodiles!!!

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  • 25 March 2013 11:05, by Garang

    The PMs and Kiir have done their parts. Its time for people of Northern Bhar el Ghazal to go for state wide demonstration for Malong to resign. Early last year, there was a memo informing the citizens to demonstrate for the removal of Malong. Kiir has no problem but this is the demand from the people of Northern Bahr el Ghazal. If they have any secret, their relationship will remain.

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  • 25 March 2013 11:13, by Garang

    Malong if I were you, I could have pick my pen, paper and resign. Bribing some MPs to oppose president will not help. Early week about 80,000ssp was divided in Athiang Manok’s hse among MPs opposing the presiden’s directives and Achol William is still carrying some money now for bribing. Congratulations nine MPs, God will judge truth.

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  • 25 March 2013 13:19, by nhomachotdeng

    The money for bribing were collected from the poor as house taxe now Akol Diing,Mangok Mangok,Garang Majak and Malong with his foolish cabinet are sleeping in the hotel eating household collection money.it is time for you go back to your houses just wait for this week only and you will see.

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  • 25 March 2013 13:25, by Wen Majokweng

    Respectively my dear major Gen Malong why are u not going back to the miltary and leave the chance to others,if feel like u wented leadership go and come back for some time.

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  • 25 March 2013 13:33, by Wen Majokweng

    Everyone has right to be leader like u & not u every time & now, we are south sudanese people who fight for over 21 years with u.

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  • 25 March 2013 13:51, by kuac Agol

    The dissolution of parliament suggested is the best option for all the consituencies because the MPs tend to present their own benifits rather than working in favor of the people whom they are legally presented in the parliament
    let them come back and they will be send back by the consituencies to go and present them again because we do appreciate the way they re working in the parliament

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    • 26 March 2013 12:53, by Emma

      The governor of the NBGs does not even know anything about the Constitutional act,since he doesn’t know how to read. on the other side, the MPs are like their King Paul as they praise and conduct him as a president of the Republic of NBGS.
      I am not surprised to here that Mr. Malong has ever opposed Mr. president’s decisions since he once said Kiir is in his pocket n every1 from NBGS knows that.

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  • 26 March 2013 14:39, by Samuel Malual

    His Execellency Paul Malong Awan Aneidit will remains governor of Aweil until he quited on his own. Now majority from Aweil community has rebelled by joining Riek Machar who wants to tackle Salva Kiir in 2015. This is a well known factor here in South Sudan.

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