Don’t vote for independent candidates to EALA, MPs told

By William Madouk Garang  

Lawmakers representing political parties at national legislative assembly are severely cautioned not to cast their votes to nonpartisan nominees vying seat at East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA).

Secretary for Political Affairs, Organization Development, Kuol Atem Bol of SPLM party led by President Salva Kiir, said any of their member who would not adhere to instructions will be dealt with accordingly.

In guidelines letter for contesting contenders to EALA and addressed to Chief whip, Rebecca Joshua, Mr. Bol said all 4 chief whips of political parties and coalitions in parliament must consult and come up with unified list of 9 candidates.

“Voters must be members of Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA); All partners to Transitional National Legislative Assembly must vote for the nine (9) candidates, five (5) members from SPLM-IG, two (2) members from SPLM-IO, one (1) member from SSOA and one member from OPP,” said Bol in a statement.

“In order to isolate independent candidates, all the four (4) Chief Whips that are partners to Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) must consult and coordinate with each other and ensure that all the members to TNLA must vote for nine (9) nominated candidates only,” he added.

The statement further said that no lawmakers from the political groups such as SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO, OPP and SSOA are allowed to vote for independent runners.

“No member of Transitional National Legislative Assembly from the partners is allowed to vote for any independent candidates,” the letter noted.

“Any member of TNLA especially the SPLM-IG that will vote for any independent candidate will face SPLM party disciplinary and administrative majors,” Bol warned.

MP Bol reiterated that four chief whips in the assembly should come up with one unified list of nine candidates to EALA of their representative and share it among their members to avoid inconveniences and ease the voting process.

The transitional national legislature is expected to elect its members today Friday to the East Africa Legislative Assembly.

Competition is already at peak, thirty-one candidates were nominated to compete for nine slots; fifteen members are independent candidates, five members are from SPLM, and two contenders from SPLM-IO.

It includes one contestant from South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and two from Other Political Parties or OPP.

The winners shall represent South Sudan in the Regional assembly – East Africa Legislative Assembly or EALA.

EALA is the legislative arm of East African Community, and members are sworn into EALA for five years terms.

South Sudan officially joined the East African Community in 2016, alongside Tanzania, Kenya Uganda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

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