5 September 2017

East Africa: Finally, Juba Is Done for EALA

Photo: Wambi Michael/IPS
Ugandan vehicles loaded with goods to take to Juba and other Southern Sudan towns (file photo).

EALA Senior Public Relations Officer Bobi Odiko told the 'Daily News' here yesterday that the newest East African Community (EAC) partner state corrected the anomalies that previously contravened article 50 of the Treaty that establishes the EAC.

"I wish to confirm that South Sudan has corrected the previous anomalies and has completed the elections of nine members to the EALA," Mr Odiko said, hinting that the EALA Clerk, Mr Kenneth Madete is in possession of the newly elected members.

It was earlier reported that South Sudan President Salva Kiir had appointed the nine members against the legislation that directs partner states' parliaments to elect members who are not members to their respective houses.

A case was filed before the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), which issued temporary injunction against the swearing in of the new members. Juba later revoked the appointment of members when the substantive application was due to be heard inter-party.

Articles 48 and 50 of the Treaty provide for the membership and election of members of the EALA. EALA current membership should be 52, with nine elected members from each of the five EAC partner states and seven ex-officio members.

Members are elected through voting by their respective national assemblies The Treaty provides for members to represent the diversity views in their national assemblies and ensure that the selections meet certain criteria for gender balance.

However, EALA constitution remains distant because Kenya, which recently elected Members of Parliament (MPs) has not presented EALA members to the clerk, said Mr Odiko, maintaining the creation of the legislative body will wait for Kenyan representatives.

"The EAC is indeed 'waiting with bated breath' for the fourth EALA to start its work. The process in Kenya is expected to start shortly after the parliament recess," he said. The Kenyan parliament was sworn-in last week and it elected its speaker. After induction, the house will embark on work, with finalisation of the pending activities, including election of EALA members.

Given the processes involved, according to Mr Odiko, a month or two could suffice to complete the elections, hopefully next month. He noted that immediate activities include swearingin of all members, election of the speaker, election of EALA Commission members, formation and election of members to the six committees and induction of all members. EALA should then draw the calendar of activities and embark on its legislative, oversight and representative work.

A document availed to the 'Daily News,' written by Speaker of Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) of South Sudan Anthony Lino Makana, have the names of newly elected members.

Those elected in the Extraordinary Sitting of TNLA First Session are Dr Ann Itto Leonard, Gai Deng Nhial, Deng Gabriel Alaak Garang, Dr Gabriel Garang Aher Arol, Thomes Dut Gatkek Deng - all from the SPLM - Dr Woda Jeremiah Odok and Mukulia Kennedy Ayason (Independent) while Gideon Gatpan Thoar is from SPLM/ IO.

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