National, News

MPs complain of discrimination

By Bida Elly David


Some national lawmakers have accused the assembly leadership of discriminating between ordinary MPs and those with leadership roles during sessions.

Mayen Deng Alier, an MP representing Jonglei State, criticized the leadership of the parliament, stating that heads of political parties and other MPs in leadership positions were often given enough time during deliberations as opposed to ordinary lawmakers.

He argued that this tendency has become a stumbling block for parliamentarians who are willing to contribute positively to crucial matters but are deprived of the chance.

“The discourse in this parliament is that if there are ten opportunities, in most cases, half of that or most of that is taken by the leadership. Why so?” Mayen questioned.

“There is no need for us to come here, and only the chairpersons, their deputies, and the whips, including speakers, dominate sittings,” he added.

John Agany, the chairperson of the specialized committee for information, highlighted that the parliament consists of over 400 lawmakers, excluding the leadership, and that the said discrimination will affect the house as some lawmakers won’t contribute.

For her part, Rebecca Joshua Okwachi, the government’s chief whip, dismissed the blame poured against the high-ranking lawmakers and the assembly leadership, stating that there has never been any discrimination when it comes to contributions during sessions.

She defended their position, arguing that at some points, chief whips are given chances to guide members and make clarifications.

First Deputy Speaker, Nataniel Oyet, was furious upon hearing the blame melody and told the lawmakers that no one is against anybody in the house.

He stated that the only difference could come when others raised points of privilege, order, and procedure, among others.

Oyet echoed that the only person excluded from participation during a debate is the speaker presiding over the sitting.

“What you have to do is raise your hands and be picked, and according to our conduct of business, we will not give all the 450 members a chance to talk,” he lamented.

Oyet terminated the debate on the matter and urged the House to focus on important matters of public concern.

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