1st February 2023
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Peace presidency doesn’t value legislature – Muhandis

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: Monday, June 14, 2021

President Kiir and his deputies after the swearing in ceremony at the State House on 22 February 20202 | Credit | Ministry ICT & Postal Services

An activist has criticized the Presidency for delaying the swearing-in ceremony of the new members of the reconstituted transitional nationallegislative assembly.

“It is an indication that the parties don’t value the parliament and don’t take it very seriously as a major component of governance in the country,” argues Rajab Muhandis, who is the executive director of the Organization for Responsive Governance.

In May, President Salva Kiir issued a republican decree reconstituting the national parliament.

The move, though late, was in line with provisions of the revitalized peace agreement that requires expansion and reconstitution of the legislature.

The new lower house now has 550 members from the parties that signed the 2018 peace deal.

The duration and term of the reconstituted parliament were supposed to run concurrently with that of the executive branch.

The Presidency and the ministers were appointed in February 2020 without a legislative arm of the reformed judiciary.

Muhandis says the manner in which the parties disregard proper systems of governance does not consider check and balance as important.

“Secondly, it is an indication of how the parties themselves are so submissive to their leadership in a manner that they don’t seem to have any concern even when the parliament is not running,” he added.

The peace agreement stipulates that the reconstituted Parliament shall, in the conduct of its business, support the deal and enact legislation that enables and assists the transitional processes and reforms.

The Council of States is yet to be reconstituted.

The 10 states and three administrative areas do not also have their legislative houses or appointed members.

Meanwhile, the agreement also expects the parties to establish a reformed judiciary that shall include but not be limited to the review of the Judiciary Act during the Transition.

But there is no indication from the government on when these crucial governance structures will be put in place.

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