President Kiir appoints Upper Nile State governor and his deputy

South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Friday night appointed the governor and deputy governor of Upper Nile State, ending a six-month stalemate between Kiir's government and SPLM-IO over the nominee for the gubernatorial post.

In presidential decrees read on state-run television SSBC, President Kiir appointed Budhok Ayang Kur and James Tor Monybuny as Upper Nile state governor and deputy governor respectively.

Mid last year, Kiir appointed governors for nine states except for Upper Nile. In late December 2020 and early January 2021, the president appointed deputy governors for those nine states. SPLM-IO had nominated Gen. Jonson Olony as their gubernatorial candidate for Upper Nile state.

The appointment of Gen. Olony remained controversial as Kiir did not approve of him while the SPLM-IO stuck to their gun and insisted that the formation of states' governments and legislative assemblies would not proceed without Olony's appointment.

In November last year, the SPLM-IO relaxed its stance against the decision to halt the formation of states' governments and the legislative assemblies after Kiir refused to appoint Gen. Olony, referring to him as a warmonger.

The following month on December 9, 2020, the ministry of presidential affairs in a press statement said that the presidency after a meeting attended by President Kiir, First Vice President Riek Machar, Vice Presidents: Rebecca Nyandeng, Dr. Wani Igga, Taban Deng, and Abdelbaggi Ayii, Presidential Advisor for Security, Tut Gatluak, and the Minister of Cabinet Affairs and acting Minister for Presidential Affairs Dr. Martin Elia, had agreed that President Kiir shall appoint state and local governments of the nine states except for Upper Nile State.

The presidency also agreed that the president will establish the Revitalized Transitional Legislative Assembly and the Council of state.

They agreed to hold a conference in Juba for the people of Upper Nile State to discuss and resolve any tribal or communal differences before a governor is appointed. The conference has not been held.

However, reacting to claims that SPLM-IO leadership had plans to replace Olony as it’s a candidate for the gubernatorial seat in Upper Nile state this week, the SPLM-IO in the former Fashoda state also known as the Agwelek forces loyal to Gen. Olony, rejected any such plans and insisted that Olony be installed as the governor.

But Nathaniel Oyet, the SPLM-IO representative to the National Constitution Amendment Committee (NCAC), rubbished the claims that IO leadership was contemplating replacing Olony and said such a decision could only be taken with his full knowledge.

According to the revitalized peace deal, the power-sharing ratio at state and local government levels shall be 55% for the SPLM; 27% for the SPLM/A-IO; 10% for SSOA, and 8% for OPP.

Source: Radio Tamazuj

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