By Taban Tom Henry
The leadership of the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) has on Thursday adjourned its extraordinary sitting as the country mourned the death of the war veteran late General Alfred Akwoch.
The August House was supposed to sit for the reintroduction of the permanent constitution making process bill that was ordered by the President to be re-tabled for debate to the house as it was passed in absence of the SPLM-IO parliamentary caucus.
Earlier, the Members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) boycotted Parliamentary sittings, protesting the passing of the Political Parties’ Act which they said was passed without consensus deliberately to favour the majority ruling SPLM members in the national assembly.
Addressing the media after the adjournment, the chairperson for the Standing Specialized Committee for Information, John Agany Deng said the sitting on the reintroduction of the constitutional making process bill was adjourned because the country is mourning the death of its war veteran.
“We were communicating that we should have an extraordinary sitting which was basically decided to be on constitution making process law which has been already passed by the National Legislative Assembly but was brought back because some of our peace partners and that is SPLM-IO with some handful of parties, later on the parties retreated,” he said.
Agany said after withdrawal of the SPLM-IO parliamentary caucus following the outstanding issues that were raised, the parliament continued to operate and passed some laws among which was the constitutional making process bill and the wildlife conservation bill.
He stated that when the principals first sat on the passing of the bill, the SPLM-IO members were not there, because they were quarreling.
The spokesperson of the national assembly however noted that the contentious political parties’ Act that SPLM-IO protested against has already been assented into law by the President saying it won’t return to parliament.
“Now what has remained unsigned was this constitutional making process bill together with the wildlife conservation bill, today we are supposed to treat this bill but because of the death of one of our heroes, Gen. Alfred Akwoch who really fought for number of years for South Sudan to get freedom, it was adjourned,” he added.
Late Gen. Akwoch is a war veteran and liberator who fought for independence of South Sudan since the Anya Anya 1 before joining the SPLM/SPLA. The late died of cardiac unrest some days ago in a hospital in Kampala Uganda and was accorded a state burial at Simba playing ground and his late funeral rites prayer was conducted yesterday.
President Salva Kiir eulogized late Gen. Akwoch as a liberator and a hero who dedicated his life to fight for the freedom of South Sudanese.
Meanwhile Agany said the leadership of the National Legislative Assembly thought it wise that it should be better to join the state in celebrating his life because he is somebody who fought for a number of years and the President, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit have been there from the first day the late Akwoch lost his life.
“The Assembly under the leadership of the first deputy speaker decided that we should adjourn this sitting to join the state funeral rites of Gen. Akwoch,”
The spokesperson of the parliament said the constitutional making process bill will hopefully be retabled on Monday next week.
He explained the bill as an important bill that prepares the grassroots, intellectuals which needs every person in South Sudan to have a living and permanent constitution.
“The importance of life means we are living together and living together means we need to govern ourselves and you cannot govern yourselves without laws so constitution is the mother of all laws in South Sudan.”
“We have now a transitional constitution which is not a permanent constitution, so if you want to make it from the transitional constitution to a permanent constitution, their must be a process and that is the one we are calling to be the constitutional making process bill,” Agany said.