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Civil Society urges South Sudan’s government expedite swearing in of parliament

By Simon Deng 

A civil society organization is calling on South Sudan’s government to speed up the swearing in of parliamentarians to enable them start work.

“Given the limited time left for the current transitional period, the parliament needs to settle in quickly in order to get things pertaining the peace deal done before the transitional period elapses,” said Jame David Kolok, the executive Director of Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance. 

South Sudan’s peace deal signed by five parties in 2018 dictates that a parliament of 550 members be formed to help carry out the necessary reforms in the war-torn East African country.

The parliament has just been reconstituted in May after more than a year of delay due to disagreement over its composition among the peace parties.

“We want them to settle quickly in terms of making sure that they are able to put in place the structures of the parliament, the parliament needs the speaker, deputy speaker and committees in the house, those committees are very important,” added Kolok.

South Sudan’s current government was cabinet was set up in February 2020 but the country is running without a budget because there was no parliament to pass a national budget.                         

“If the committees are quickly established they must discuss the issue of the national budget as the first priority and secondly they should pass all legislations that the peace agreement needs including the legislation of the constitution making process,” he said.   

Kolok said implementation of most provisions of the revitalised agreement is behind schedule, adding that the issue of the constitution making process should not be used to extend the transitional period.                               

“We are actually left with about 20 months or so but if there is a political will the parties can still deliver on the implementation of the pending tasks,” he added.                                                               

The revitalised agreement required several tasks including reforms in security and economic sectors as well as making a new permanent constitutional for the country.

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