26th January 2023
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S. Sudan eyes regional parliament speaker

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Thursday, August 12, 2021

East African Legislators during a session in Arusha, Tanzania in June, 2017 | Credit | EALA

South Sudan has expressed interest in taking over the leadership of the East African Legislative Assembly.

The country’s lawmakers at the regional parliament want to front a candidate for the speakership position.

The East African Legislative Assembly legislates, provides oversight and represents the people of East Africa in a bid to foster economic, social, cultural, and political integration.

Currently, the Assembly has 54 elected Members; and 8 ex-officio Members totaling a Membership of 62.

It is comprised of nine members elected by each Partner State; ex-officio members consisting of the Minister or Assistant Minister responsible for the East African Community Affairs from each Partner State; the Secretary-General and the Counsel to the Community.

The Speaker of the EALA is elected by the Members from among their number on a rotational basis.

The current speaker is Ngoga Martin of Rwanda, whose term will end in December 2022.

South Sudan lawmakers at the regional assembly have asked the government to lobby partners states to support its candidate.

No nominations for the speakership have so far been made.

But Dr. Anne Itto, a member of the assembly, said it is important that South Sudan begin the groundwork in preparation for the nomination of its candidate.

“South Sudan Chapter has to campaign for others to vote for them, and we are looking forward to that opportunity because it is not a small thing,” said Dr. Ann Itto.

“The speaker runs the whole parliament and this is not a small parliament; this is a parliament whose membership comes from six Partner States. So, it is seven countries that the parliament takes care of their issues.”

The Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly directs all activities of the House and its Committees and presides over the proceedings of the House under the EALA Rules of Procedure.

South Sudan joined EALA on 16th April 2016 and became a full member on the 5th September 2016 thus expanding the number of the Community Partner States to six.

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