24 December 2012

South Sudan: Upper Nile State Leaders Dismiss Reports of Alleged Differences

Juba — Senior leaders of the executive and legislative organs of South Sudan's oil producing Upper Nile state have dismissed reports of alleged differences among the leadership in the state, saying they were "pure lies."

The deputy governor of Upper Nile state, John Ivu, was quoted in a news story published by the Sudan Tribune on Sunday in which he dismissed reports alleging eight members of parliament had been arrested over a plot to impeach the governor, Simon Kun Puoch, over financial scandal.

"No member of parliament has been arrested. I am not aware of this development. Who told you members of parliament have been arrested in Upper Nile and why? What did they say was the reason? I think this is a political allegation," Ivu was quoted as saying by the Sudan Tribune.

The deputy governor was also quoted as saying that the conflict involving parliamentarians which led to the closure of the state parliament was between the speaker and his deputy and this did not involve the executive or the office of the governor.

"Actually the house [has] not been closed for good. This was just a temporary closure so that members can go on a short break. This was so because the dispute between the speaker and his deputy was getting out of hand. It divided the members of the party and the house itself," the deputy governor was further quoted.

However, in a phone call to the Sudan Tribune on Monday, Upper Nile state's deputy governor, John Ivu, bitterly complained to the news media, saying he had not conducted an interview with any media house whether in person or on phone.

"I was so surprised that I was quoted by Sudan Tribune as if I had done an interview with the media. The story was pure lies. I did not have any interview with any media house whether in person or on phone. This false story should be corrected immediately," he explained.

The deputy governor, John Ivu, who is also acting in the absence of his governor, Simon Kun, said the reporter also misspelt his name as Obi instead of Ivu, insisting that he had not talked to any media about the political issues in the state.

Also the deputy speaker of Upper Nile state parliament, Chuol Dep, in a separate phone conversation told the Sudan Tribune on Monday that the alleged difference between him and his speaker was a false allegation concocted by suspected parliamentarians whom he described as "floating MPs."

Deputy speaker Chuol in a 4-page statement which he forwarded to the Sudan Tribune further explained that he had no differences with his speaker of parliament and dismissed the allegations.

He accused the parliament's Chief Whip, Venasio Gwang Adwok, of instigating the confusion in the parliament which consequently forced him [deputy speaker] to close the parliament in the absence of the speaker.

He said the Chief Whip had surprised the MPs when he called for an emergency MPs meeting on December 12, at the SPLM state secretariat with the aim to raise a motion to impeach the speaker and his deputy without following the right procedures and tabling the charges in parliament.

Chuol said he had no differences with the speaker and instead aborted the illegal process of the conspired vote-of-no-confidence against the speaker in his absence because he was attending to the Governors' Forum in Juba.

Such "floating MPs," he said, were driven by greed for power fed into them by some politicians in Juba who are confused by the SPLM-DC party leaders.

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