The Transitional National Legislative Assembly has revoked its resolution confirming nine members to the East African Legislative Assembly
The nine members were appointed through a presidential decree and were confirmed by the assembly in March.
This [Tuesday] morning, the chairperson of the committee of Legislation and Legal Affairs, Dengtiel Ayuen Kur, raised a motion to withdraw the parliamentary approval of the nine members.
The parliament’s decision to withdraw its approval comes after a court in Tanzania issued an order stopping the swearing in of the members, but the speaker said the resolution has nothing to do with the court order.Honorable Deng said some provisions for sending members to the East African Legislative Assembly were not fulfilled.
“Though the Republic of South Sudan sent it members to above Assembly in March 2017 it turn out that some basic requirements of treaty was not satisfied,” said Hon. Dengtiel.
These include a representation of women by at least a third of the members and election of the members in the assembly.
“Our list had only two honorable [women]. Our Transitional National Legislative Assembly didn’t have a basic law on election of the EALA members to guide,” he added.
Article 50 of the East African Legislative Assembly on Election of Members of the Assembly says:
The National Assembly of each Partner States shall elect, not from among its members, nine members of the Assembly, who shall represent as much as it is feasible, the various political parties represented in the National Assembly, shades of opinion, gender and other special interest groups in that Partner State, in accordance with such procedure as the National Assembly of each Partner State may determine.
Honorable Dengtiel said all the requirements should have been fulfilled.
The MPs agreed to the motion and revoked their approval of the members.
The house speaker, Anthony Lino Makana, said a six member committee should be formed to inform the house about the election law of the East African Legislative Assembly.
“Three of them must be lawyers and the others can be other professions, so that they go and make this law and bring it to us tomorrow [Wednesday],” Makana said.
The speaker then read the names of the committee members; Hon. Dengtiel Kur, Hon. Abraham Biar, Hon. Professor George Lado Boreng, Hon. Margaret Samuel Aru and Hon. Martha Martin.
They are tasked to study Article 50 of the EALA and suggest legal ways of nominating the country’s representative to the East Africa Legislative Assembly.
The Tanzanian court had given an order in response to a petition that challenges the appointment of the nine members through a presidential decree.
The members include Dr. Gabriel Garang Aher, Gai Deng Nhial, Joseph Ukel Ubango, Dr. Anne Itto Leornado and Issac Aziz Justin.
Others are Adil Elais Sandrai, Gabriel Alaak Garang, Thomes Dut Gatkek and Gideon Gatpan Thoar.
Last week, the East African Court of Justice said it granted an interim ex parte or “one-sided law” order restraining the EALA from administering the oath of office, or otherwise recognizing the 9 nominees from South Sudan pending the hearing on 15th June 2017.
This decision was made after an application was filed by Mr. Wani Santino Jada, a South Sudanese, against the Attorney General of South Sudan, the Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly in South Sudan and the Secretary General of the East African Community.
Mr. Wani petitioned the three institutions saying that in March 2017, President Salva Kiir appointed the 9 persons in violation of Article 50 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.
The court hearing was comprised of Justices Monica Mugenyi, Principal Judge; Isaac Lenaola, Deputy Principal Judge; Faustin Ntezilyayo, Judge; Fakihi Jundu, and Audace Ngiye.
The court will hear the petition stopping their membership next week.
South Sudan officially joined the East African Community last year, with concerns from opposition leaders that this would turn the country into a dumping ground for goods from the region.
Ray Okech in Juba contributed to this report.
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