19 July 2012

South Sudan: Northern Bahr El Ghazal Names Stand-In Speaker After Leadership Dissolution

Wau — South Sudan's state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal parliament said on Thursday it unanimously voted to temporarily allow its former deputy speaker to become the acting speaker until a new one is elected.

"It was a unanimous vote by members of the house to name honourable Monica Achol William Amoi as acting speaker until such time when we can able to elect new leadership", a legislator said.

Tensions began a year ago when the house found itself divided. One faction of the state cabinet and a group of legislators, primarily led by eight members, advocated accountability and transparency in the spending of public funds and policy rulings, especially the supervision of the executive.

Officials told Sudan Tribune on Thursday that a row began last year when the house voted to impeach the state minister of finance, Ronald Ruay Deng, after he failed to provide convincing answers to questions raised about irregularities in 2011 budget.

Attempts to reconcile the two sides had limited success, resulting in the subsequent termination of the membership of six legislators from the country's ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) branch office in the state.

Amoi was among the thirty members who appended signatures seeking Deng's removal. She also became one of the members who approved removal of the speaker.

There is a group who do not believe the minister failed to adequately explain budget irregularities, and that his impeachment is politically motivated.

Aguer Wol Aguer, a legislator who still considers himself to be the legitimate speaker to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday said that the appropriate constitutional procedures had not been followed. He described the move as an attempt "to impose control on the legislature."

"I found my office locked today. Another padlock was put there. These are all clear indications of provocation but this will not happen. That was why I returned to my house until I was called by the Governor himself to inquire what was happening in the house", Aguer explained.

He said the state Police Commissioner, the Head of National Security and the Head of Legal Administration in the state were in the meeting he had with the state Governor on Wednesday. He described the meeting in which the discussed ways to resolve the dispute as "good" .

Majang Ngor Kuany, a former speaker of the house also said that there were irregularities which nullified the House's edict.

More than 20 parliamentarians in the 49-member assembly voted to remove entire leadership on Tuesday.

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