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Former NBeG deputy speaker warns against parliamentary dissolution

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March 25, 2015 (JUBA) – The former deputy speaker of South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal state legislative assembly warned on Tuesday that any move to open the legislature without the approval of the governor could lead to the assembly’s dissolution.

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The map of Northern Bahr el Ghazal in red.

“The 2010 business of conduct regulations, chapter 11 section 5 (2) states that the speaker shall regulate the session and the opening of the parliament in consultation with the governor. This is very clear. It is like here in Juba at the national level, speaker of the national legislative Assembly cannot open the assembly without consulting the president,” Athiang Manok said in an exclusive interview with Sudan Tribune.

He said opening assembly minus the speaker writing to the caretaker governor violates the state constitution and undermines the authority of the country’s president.

“I am in complete agreement with the youth leaders that those members who are pushing for the opening of the house are after their own interests and not serving the purpose for which they were elected. The members of parliament are supposed to be the representatives of the people. They cannot be representatives of themselves and their interests. You know, until now one of citizens has been in detention for more than two months without reason. These are some of the issues which the members of parliament should be following and find out what happened. But as of now, those members do not show that they want to know what happened,” said Manok.

He was referring to the case of development adviser Yel Deng Nguel, who has been in detention since January on the directives of former governor Paul Malong Awan, who continues to remain as the head of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the state even after his appointment as the chief of general staff of the South Sudanese army (SPLA).

“The youth are also right to call the intervention of the leadership and take disciplinary measures against those who are trying to cause tension and disharmony which, if not handle well can cause instability. If there is instability, it means threat to the national security and the president under the transitional constitution has the right to dissolve the assembly. And it is his constitutional prerogatives,” he said.

The state government’s chief whip, Benson Opuothmalo, said members were acting outside the constitution because they were under the influence by the former governor.

“Those members do not know the constitution. Their constitution is Paul Malong. They do what he tells them. Whether it is wrong or what and it is said by Malong they must do it. Now the cover of the constitution is Paul Malong,” said Opuothmalo.

“The content of the constitution is Ernest Mangok (former parliamentary affairs minister) and the article of the constitution which they quote in their allegations is Isaac Makau Ayok, who is the speaker of the state legislative assembly,” he added.

(ST)

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