National, News

Parliament postpones scrutiny of Kiir’s speech over absence of ministers

By Bida Elly David


National Legislative Assembly on Monday adjourned scrutiny of President Salva Kiir’s inaugural policy speech over absence of cabinet ministers at the august house.

Lawmakers were supposed to deliberate on President Kiir’s inaugural speech which he delivered during the resumption of parliament after return from a three-month recess.

A serious argument sparked among the legislators, with the majority suggesting the sitting be suspended until the absent ministers who were to represent the executive, appear before the house.

During the argument, the lawmakers noted that the speech of the president contains directives that touch on key ministries for implementation.

Elizabeth Adut, from Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State, slammed the speaker of the assembly for having insisted the policy document be discussed in the absence of the cabinet ministers.

“Ministers are not here, and we are supposed to deliberate on the speech of the president. My suggestion is that we adjourn the sitting and wait for the ministers to answer some of the directives from the presidential speech,” she said.

Gatwich Lam Kuoth, the acting government’s chief whip, seconded Elizabeth’s submission, saying the executive members must appear to respond to some of the directives from President Kiir.

“When we discuss the president’s address, it is all about the policy of the government. Who are the implementers of the policies of the government? These are the ministers; we cannot discuss the address without the ministers,” he stated.

“This is because the ministers are the people to be directed by the house to implement the policy; we should adjourn the sitting until the ministers appear,” he added.

Despite pushing for the continuation of the deliberation of Kiir’s speech, house speaker Rt. Hon. Jemma Nunu Kumba submitted to the majority MPs position and ruled for the postponement of the assembly discussions on the president’s speech.

Not only that, but Tuesday’s session also was supposed to be accompanied by the summons of ministers to answer questions concerning the recessing economy, which did not happen as well.

“When the president came to present his speech, all the ministers were here, so as we discuss the speech, they must also be here to take note of what is in the report, and in view of this, the speaker also agrees,” Nunu stated.

She directed the minister of parliamentary affairs to take note of this and ensure that all the ministers appear in parliament on Tuesday for the deliberation of President Kiir’s speech.

That means all the ministers are therefore urged to appear on Tuesday to attend the deliberations on the president’s speech and respond to all the questions that may arise and be directed to them in their respective dockets.


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