News, Politics

S. Sudan parliament elects nine lawmakers to EALA

By Taban Henry

The Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) on Friday elected nine members to represent South Sudan in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).

EALA is the East African Community regional block’s law making institution situated in Arusha Tanzania that each Member State has to send 9 representatives to constitute the regional legislative assembly.

South Sudan officially became a member of the East African Community in 2016, and sent its first representatives to EALA in 2017.

After series of registration and campaigns and preliminary endorsements from individual’s political parties the country submitted the list of its 9 successful candidates announced by the Rt. Hon. Speaker of R-TNLA after a competitive election, involving political parties and the independent candidates which ended late Friday night (last week) around 10 p.m.

The total number of the candidates who contested were 26 but one of the contestants stepped down after accusing the SPLM party for fixing her as an independent candidate yet she is the member of a Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

The SPLM dominated the election scooping five posts in the names of; Gai Deng Nhial with 333 votes, Dr. Ann Itoo with 332 votes Dr. Woda Jeremiah Odok with 326 votes, Kim Gai Ruot with 296 and Gabriel Garang Aher with 294 votes.

Meanwhile the SPLM-IO grabbed two positions of which Sadia James and Luke Thomson were the two successful candidates of the party with 300 votes and 296 votes respectively.

And two bold independent candidates muscled it through, Mr. Mukulia Kenedy Ayason grabbed 247 votes to his name and Gideon Gatpan Thoar getting 209 votes made it to the regional parliament as independent candidates through hard and thin but their capabilities and popularity made it for as they return to Arusha for the second term.

Rt. Hon. Jemma Nunu Kumba in her remarks after the voting said the election took place in a very transparent manner, saying “we had observers and the representatives of all the parties from the beginning up to the end”.

“In accordance with resolution 15 (1) read together with regulations 12 and 13 of the procedure of the members of the East African Legislative Assembly. The Transitional National Legislative Assembly conduct of business regulation 2021 amendment 2021(1)). Consequently, and pursuant to regulation 15 (2) of the regulation of procedures for the election of Members of the East African Legislative Assembly. TNLA conduct of business regulation 2011 amended 2021” she said.

Meanwhile Mukulia Kennedy Ayason one of the successful independent candidates expressed his excitement for having passed saying being an incumbent member of parliament representing South Sudan to the East African Legislative Assembly in 2017 to date he has got pending business that he has to complete.

He said he has got many of the Bills that he has moved notably a bill that protect women and girls from sexual exploitation which is already in its second reading of which he’s the mover.

“Equally the bill of compliance, surveillance and enforcement which will lead us to the third pillar of integration of the monetary union which of course falls under the committee that I chair that is the committee of legal rules and privileges, I felt that this bill will be important for the Country itself and the community,” he said.

Kennedy cited that he had lobbied for the construction of Nimule-Renk road that is based on the agreement of both EAC and COMESA saying his presence in the assembly will add weights.

The re-elected South Sudan EALA lawmaker assured that he will make sure that all the work he started are completed saying if he wasn’t given another 5 years, he will not be able to complete what he had initiated at EALA in his first team.

“Giving another term to accomplish and later pass it to the others when my term ends, of course it’s all about excitement and democratic process” he said.

“The process of the elections itself was fair, transparent and of course reflect the will of the voters but of course, you can see into it that the voter education was minimum that indicates the trend of the voting its self that there were very many invalid votes throughout the counting processes that means voters were not given adequate education because they would have known where and when to tick and how to tick,” he lamented.

“You will generally understand the presences of non-members of parliament would have cause the trend of the voting itself but however the committee that was tasked to run the exercise did it professionally regardless of the result of those who went through and those who were not but at least there was some short of fairness” Kennedy said.

“In any democratic process it depends on numbers, you can understand that the SPLM and the SPLM-IO are the largest parties, there was expectation that the two parties will dominate the whole electoral process given there numerical advantage in the house and some of the parties that are less in the parliament will not have that advantage to allow their candidates seal through and the independent candidates failed based on how they presented their manifestos that’s how they are able to articulate their matters basically is all about the numerical advantage and how the candidates presented themselves,” Kennedy Explained.    

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