SWORN IN: Uganda’s second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of EAC Affairs Alhaj Kirunda Kivejinja

South Sudan and Kenya have delayed the commencement of the fourth East African assembly for a period of two months due to failure to elect members to East African Legislative Assembly (EALA)

According to Uganda’s second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of EAC Affairs Alhaj Kirunda Kivejinja, the Third Assembly ended on June 4 2017 and elections of new members to constitute the Fourth Assembly were expected to have been finalized by all partner states on June 3, 2017, to allow for commencement of work on June 5.

“The delay of Kenya and Sudan to elect in their members has retarded the swearing in of the new members of the East African Legislative Assembly,” Kivejinja said at the Uganda Media Centre, adding that under the current circumstances no business can be transacted.

South Sudan had earlier elected its nine members to the Assembly but they were disallowed by the East African Court of Justice after a South Sudan ‘concerned citizen’ sued his country’s Parliament and Attorney General for breach of the EALA laws.

Last month Uganda’s EALA delegate Fred Mukasa Mbidde, who is also the Deputy Vice President of Democratic Party (DP), threatened to drag Kenya to court over the delay to elect its members to assembly.

Kenya has since said it will first conclude the presidential elections scheduled for August 8, before dealing with the issue of its EALA representation.

This is not the first time EALA is faced with a stalemate: the Second Assembly was delayed by six months from November 29, 2006 to June 4, 2007 due to related circumstances.

Sources said the precedent was set then and that the five-year term of the Fourth Assembly will start as soon as the Assembly is fully constituted to transact business.