South Sudan appointed members of parliament on Monday took oath of office after their swearing-in was delayed for months as leaders sought to complete the reconstitution of the national legislature as stipulated in the 2018 peace agreement.
In an event presided by the country’s Chief Justice Chan Reec Madut in Juba, 504 members from various parties to the peace accord were sworn in. Members from the Council of States also took oath of the office.
However, representatives from Other Political Parties (OPP) were not sworn in as planned. This was after President Salva Kiir revoked the list of appointed OPP members. He did not give a reason for this decision.
Last week, the lawmakers of Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) elected women as different heads of the national legislature.
Nunu Kumba, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs who also serves the ruling party’s Secretary General, was elected as the Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly.
The MPs also elected Mary Ayen as the deputy chair of the lower house – Council States. SPLM also designated Permeno Awerial Aluong as the Second Deputy Speaker.
Just after the SPLM appointment, opposition party SPLM-In Opposition appointed Oyet Nathaniel as the deputy August House chair.
According to the peace deal, both Revitalised Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) and Council of States shall be reconstituted to include new appointees from other peace parties.
The deal provides for the expansion of the parliament from 400 to 550 members, comprising representatives from the peace parties. The former transitional government nominated 332 members, SPLM-IO 128, and South Sudan Opposition Alliance 50. Other political parties also nominated 30 representatives, while former detainees will be represented by 10 members.
As per the peace deal, the legislature is expected to enact laws that will assist the transitional processes, including reforms spelled out in the peace agreement.
The two houses are also expected to provide oversight and ensure the full implementation of the peace agreement and the constitution.