8th June 2023
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Hon. Ayen criticizes Governor Denay over suspension of MPs

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Mary Ayen Majok, the First Deputy Speaker of the Council of States. | Courtesy.

The First Deputy Speaker for the Council of States has criticized Governor Denay Chagor for suspending two lawmakers she described as people who are doing their oversight role.

Mary Ayen’s statement came after the governor of Jonglei State suspended two members of the state parliament on Friday, a week after the legislative body held a vote of no confidence against the State Minister of Finance.

Denay Chagor suspended lawmakers, Anter Bayak Kuol and Gatluak Gabriel John, in a gubernatorial decree citing his constitutional powers.

The MPs appointed to the government on SSOA tickets were allegedly suspended for supporting the vote of no confidence against Minister Abraham Yuek.

They had accused Minister Yuek of failing to explain where the state non-oil revenues from Personal Income Tax are going.

Speaking to Eye Radio, the Upper House Speaker, Ayen called on the leaders of the peace government to put aside their party differences and work for the common good of the citizens.

Ayen, however, warned governors of taking unilateral decisions to suspend state lawmakers, saying they were executing their role of holding the executive accountable.

“Our message to the governors, all the parties and the parliamentarians regardless of their political affiliation and all the differences should put aside their party’s differences and then they work for the interest of the people,” Hon. Ayen said.

“The message to the governors since those MP’s represent the will of the people and if what they’re not doing or differences they are doing is not because of maybe their defending individual interests then they should respect the independence of the parliament,

“The governors are not to work as if they are the only authority. The parliaments are there to assist them and give advice and do this oversight rule so that the decision that is taken is not a unilateral decision by the executive but checked also by the assembly and the assemblies are there also to watch the performance of their executives.”

Honorable Ayen said the Council of State will do a follow up on that matter to see an amicable resolution to the disputes.

Last year in April, President Salva Kiir expressed disappointment in some governors and their deputies over how they are managing the state affairs.

He further asked them to cooperate and implement the revitalized peace deal regardless of their political or ethnic differences.

According to the revitalized peace agreement, decision-making in the government shall be in the spirit of collegial collaboration.

It also requires the state governments to consult and cooperate in the interest of peace and stability.

The peace deal outlines the responsibility-sharing ratio at State and local government levels as follows:

55% for the SPLM; 27% for the SPLM/A-IO; 10% for SSOA and 8% for OPP.

The SPLM has appointed 6 state governors, SPLM-IO with 3 governors, and SSOA with one governor.

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