National, News

Legislators redundant till April

By Bida Elly David


Amidst the worsening economic crisis, the resumption of Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly sittings has been delayed until first week of April.

House Speaker, Jemma Nunu Kumba announced the April 2024 resumption of the Parliament, after a meeting with President Salva Kiir Mayardit, on Wednesday.

In the meeting, Nunu briefed the president on the activities of the National Parliament and confirmed the April reopening.

The speaker said the decision underscores the government’s commitment to upholding democratic principles and ensuring that the voice of the people is heard.

Upon resumption, the parliament aims to address priority issues of elections, peace implementation, infrastructure development, and economic recovery.

Speaker Nunu considers the reopening as an opportunity for lawmakers to start afresh and tackle crucial matters of the country.

The Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) was initially expected to reconvene in January 2024 after Christmas break in December, last year.

According to parliamentary spokesperson John Agany Deng, the resumption was delayed pending feedback from the presidency.

As issues related to conduct of election are of crucial concern, the Parliamentary is expected to expedite enactment of the Permanent constitution.

Currently, there is no consensus on the timeline for the conduct of elections. The issue of whether the exercise could be held with or without a permanent constitution has also become a hot ground for argument.

However, according to the 2018 peace agreement, the permanent constitution is critical provisions expected to usher in a new democratic dispensation,

Although, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and other political parties have expressed their readiness to continue with the elections, the SPLM-IO insist that the Permanent constitutions is a must before the polls.

SPLM -IO deputy chairperson, Nathaniel Oyet, argued that the current transitional constitution is inadequate for conducting elections.

He called for amendments to address issues like the number of states, land disputes, and the system of government.

“The question of the number of states is not yet resolved, we only reverted the Country to ten states, there were 28 states and then 32 states, there were 21 States and others were talking of 3 States, all these are still hanging waiting the permanent constitution,” he highlighted.

Oyet underlined the unresolved questions of state boundaries and ongoing land disputes, emphasizing the need for a permanent constitution to provide clarity.

“We remember the conflict in Upper Nile, we have people in PoCs in Malakal complaining of their land, even if we reverted the Country to ten States, they are still complaining fearing that their land has been grabbed the constitution will direct,” he lamented.

He exclaimed that there is no way for the Country to head for elections without deciding on what system of government to have.

Mr. Oyet accuses other parties and individuals of fearing the permanent constitution due to potential changes to the current system, particularly regarding the federal system of government.

“Others are saying the federal system of government is coming to review the Centralized system then they will lose the privileges of having all the powers in the Center and controlling resources,” he claimed.

The SPLM-IO instead suggested an extension of the transition government for 24 months, before elections.

The party noted that the extension will allow the country to enact a permanent constitution and complete other pending peace roadmap tasks.

However, other political parties led by Peter Mayen Majongdit disagreed with the proposal.

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