By Taban Henry
The members of parliament at the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) under the docket of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) on Monday called off their boycott of the parliamentary sitting.
This came after the President and the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny resolved to retable the bills that were passed in the absence of the lawmakers under the SPLM/A-IO ticket as they boycotted the parliamentary sittings.
Earlier in June the SPLM/A-IO lawmakers at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly declared boycott of house sitting after the parliament passed the political parties bill amendment Bill 2022 that they alleged was passed in the favour of the SPLM-IG majority in parliament.
Addressing the media on Monday after an extra-ordinary sitting of the August House, the First Deputy Speaker at the R-TNLA, Nathaniel Oyet Pierino declared the call off by the opposition lawmakers of boycott of parliamentary sittings.
The opposition MPs boycotted the parliamentary businesses for about two months including sittings of official functions and business of committees in parliament.
The termination of the strike comes consequent with the resolutions of the two principals on the 11th August 2022 on the SPLM-IO boycott and cognizant to the advisory letters of R-JMEC 1st of August 2022 and the national constitution committee on the 18th June 2022 in which the parties to the agreement were advised to uphold the relevant provisions of the peace agreement and ensure consensus when passing bills.
“The SPLM-IO parliamentary caucus in its meeting dated 14th of August 2022 resolved to terminate its boycott of parliamentary business effective today Monday 15th of August 2022. We would like to state that the termination of the boycott is in line with the advice of the two principals and the advice of the R-JMEC and the NCAC which clarifies that all bills drafted persuade to the Revitalized peace agreement are special bills that should be ratified before adopted by the parties to the agreement in the parliament,” Oyet declared.
He added that the SPLM-IO parliamentary caucus reiterated its unwavering commitment to fulfill implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement in letter and spirit.
He briefed the public about the extra-ordinary assembly business committee meeting which adopted the resolutions of the meeting of the two presidencies who are the principals.
“We are cognizant representing that as members of parliament representing our people and the parties that sent us our role and mandate is to facilitate smooth implementation of the peace agreement”.
“The political parties’ bill was ascended to the President as the procedure for enacting laws anywhere in the world including South Sudan for the parliament to pass the law and then forward the law to the President for ascend. We have also noted that the political parties amendment bill has been also ascended to the president that would mean other procedurals matters has to be fulfilled if the bill has to be retable in the house it means a motion has to be raised by any member of parliament for an act to be amended to be returned back to the house,” he lamented.
“The resolution of the two principals is very clear that those bills that were passed by the parliament and not ascended to by the President shall be returned for deliberations in the house with the participations of the SPLM-IO party members of parliament and that is what is going to happen that the resolution has been done and those bills after the budget will be retable to the parliament for deliberations after the budget is disposed off” Oyet stated.
“The bills that were passed include; wildlife service bill and then the constitutional making process bill where the two key bills that were passed in our absence will be re-tabled later on,” he cited.
Meanwhile John Agany the Chairperson of the Specialized Committee for information at the parliament said they have received their members of parliament led by the first deputy speaker Nathaniel Oyet Pierino.
He said the Monday sitting, was thus an extra-ordinary sitting of the head of committees meeting which was actually to mark the long awaited return for sitting by the members of the SPLM-IO.
“In fact this was a normal proceeding everywhere in the world, MPs cannot keep quiet they have to talk. It was not usual for the members of the SPLM/A-IO descend on what have been going on in the national legislative assembly however we as the MPs seize to the matter that the national legislative assembly is not subordinate to any institutions, it is one of the first arms of the government in the Republic of South Sudan tasked to legislate and pass laws for this nation to move forward. Our members from IO were not mistaken in their findings because these are their political rights,” Agany said.
The assembly spokesperson said it’s clear that in this situation there is no win-win or loss in discussion.
“It is a matter of coming together and use the consensus which have been already realized in the peace agreement and each and every body should listen because that is how we should come together and we congratulate them for being patient up to this time and I think they were eager to resume their activities in the parliament,” he added.