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South Sudan withdraws Salva Kiir’s EALA nominees

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South Sudanese parliament has revoked an earlier appointment of nine lawmakers by President Salva Kiir to the East African Legislative Assembly, during an extraordinary session in Juba.

Issued in March, the presidential decree was challenged by a South Sudanese lawyer Wani Santino Jada, who brought the case before the East African Court of Justice in Arusha, Tanzania, stressing that the parliament, not the president has to select the nine South Sudanese members.

The lawyer based his claim on that the article (50) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community and the article (4) of the East African Legislative Assembly Election Act. Both provides that the “National Assembly of each Partner State shall elect -not from among its members – nine members of the (East African Legislative) Assembly “.

The Arusha-based court is due to hear the case on June 15. But South Sudan MPs revoked the decision in a special session two days earlier.

In statements to the media, the chairperson of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA)’s legal committee, Dengtiel Ayuen Kur, announced the revocation of the presidential decree on the appointment of the nine legislators for the regional body.

“The Transitional National Legislative Assembly has revoked its resolution in March 2017 that nominated nine members of Parliament to the East African Legislative Assembly,” Kur said.

Lawyers in Juba point to the failure of presidential legal advisers to review the decision before its issuance in March.

South Sudanese President enjoys overwhelming legal powers in the new East African country. He appoints MPs, fires elected officials including state governors and can suspend the assembly according to the 2011 Transitional Constitution.

South Sudan joined the East African Community last year.

Meanwhile, the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) has stopped the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) from administering oath of office to its members, hence stalling whatever timetable that would be set for the commencement of the fourth assembly.

The order delivered by the First Instance Division of the EACJ was in regard to Jada’s petition that was filed against the South Sudan Attorney General, the Speaker of Parliament and the EAC Secretary General in relation to the election of the South Sudan members of EALA.

The EACJ comprised of Principal Judge Monica Mugyenyi, her Deputy Isaac Lenoala and judges Faustin Ntezilyayo, Fakihi Jundu and Audace Ngiye.

 

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