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Machar appeals for withdrawal of bills passed in absence of SPLM-IO MPs

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Sunday, August 7, 2022

First Vice President Riek Machar signs a document extending the transitional period by 24 months. | 4TH August 2022. | Photo: Lou Nelson/Eye Radio.

The First Vice President and SPLM-IO leader is appealing for the withdrawal of the bills passed in parliament in absence of opposition lawmakers.

Dr. Riek Machar made the call amid existing boycott of sittings by his lawmakers over a disagreement that started in June 2022.

Speaking at the extension event of the transitional period on Thursday, Machar complained that the ruling SPLM party is using its majority status in parliament to passed bills without consensus.

“It is not the attendant but the consensus that you generate in parliament. The SPLM-IG and its allies have a mechanical majority in parliament. They would pass anything they want to pass,” said Machar.

“But then, they would forget that there is an article that tells you, in doing your business in parliament, you must support the agreement. You must enact legislation that support the agreement and reforms in it,” he added.

The August House has been operating partially, with majority lawmakers from the SPLM party and allied groups determined to conduct business as usual, despite the opposition absence.

The national constitution allows for the conduct of parliamentary sittings as long as the quorum is met.

However, Machar quoted the revitalized agreement as saying the national legislature should embrace the spirit of consensus.

So far, several bills including the Political Parties bill, Security Bill and Wildlife Bill have been passed in the absence of the SPLM-IO and other opposition lawmakers.

The SPLM-IO leader appealed to President Salva Kiir to intervene and resolve the dispute.

“I hope any of these that have been passed in the absence of IO should return to parliament including the political parties bill, so that we do it together,” he said.

In June, opposition lawmakers boycotted parliamentary sittings, in protest over the passing of Political parties Act without consensus.

According to an SPLM-IO official, the party’s parliamentary appointees resolve to continue boycotting the sittings as well as various duties and assignments in the TNLA.

The SPLM-IO accused the ruling party (SPLM) of allegedly tampering with bills drafted by the country National Constitutional Amendment Committee.

However, John Agany the Spokesperson of the National legislature downplayed the dilemma, saying the national parliament remains unshaken by the opposition boycott.

“Yes only SPLM-IO members are missing in the house and their number is 128 and they will never affect any activities of the assembly, because SPLM/IG have 305 members and the other members of the house are already there including the OPP who was the Godfather of the quarrel,” he said to Eye Radio last month.

“We don’t mind their presence. And by the way, when an MP boycott his work it has to be done by the conduct of the business, as for that matter they are not many MP,” he added.


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