Rights body backs decision to recall SPLM-IO regional MPs

Hentet fra Sudan Tribune (ingen journalist kreditert)

A South Sudanese human rights entity has backed calls to block members of the armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) from the East African assembly, saying they were ineligible.

Tito Anthony, the Centre for Peace and Justice Coordinator said electing lawmakers loyal to the country’s First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai to the regional assembly contravened South Sudan’s Election Act, 2011.

He said Gideon Gatpan Thoar, who contested last month as the flag bearer of SPLM-IO does not qualify as a member of the assembly.

Thoar won the election, but the law does not favour him owing to the fact that he contested on behalf of a non-registered political entity.

«SPLM-IO is an armed opposition entity, not a registered as political party, let them register first with South Sudan Political Parties Council as a political party and after that they have all the rights to participate in all political activities in country and beyond the nation such as nominating their members for East Africa Legislative Assembly election and contesting for country presidency,” said Tito.

Meanwhile, the human right body has urged South Sudan parliament to follow the right procedure and principles of regional policy on the nomination of their members to the East African body.

«Am urging the South Sudan Legislative Assembly to follow the election laws of the East Africa Community and call for new nomination from a political party to fill and compete for the seat that SPLM-IO member elected to,” said the CPJ coordinator.

Early this month, members of South Sudan’s national assembly elected nine representatives to the regional assembly. They included six men and three women.

In June, the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) granted an interim order restraining the East African assembly from swearing in nine South Sudan MPs over improper nomination.

The new EALA representatives from the six member states were supposed to take oath of office on 5 June, but it was suspended following the restraining order against South Sudan.