The Revitalized Transitional National Legislative Assembly (RTNLA) on Wednesday passed the National Wildlife Services Act 2011 (Amendment Bill 2022) in the absence of the opposition members of the house.
The bill was presented by Hon. Tongun Lodu Rombe, the Deputy Chairperson of the standing Specialized Committee on Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, Legislation and Justice.
During the presentation, Tongun said that his committee observed and came up with some recommendations in accordance with Article 84(2) 2011 constitution.
However, this infuriated those opposed to the action, saying it is a violation of the peace agreement.
The National Democratic Movement Party (NDM), SPLM-IO, and the African National Conference (ANC) have boycotted parliament sittings for the past month.
In a press release issued on Wednesday evening, the SPLM-IO parliamentary caucus in the TNLA alleged that the TNLA passed the Wildlife Service Act 2019 (Amendment Bill 2022), maintaining the former SPLA military ranks instead of the conventional wildlife service rank introduced in the bill by the National Constitution Amendment Committee as part of the wildlife service reforms.
"The SPLM-IO parliamentary caucus learned with dismay of the continuous and relenting decision by the speaker and the SPLM-IG parliamentary caucus of the TNLA to pass today, July 6, 2022, the Wildlife Service Act 2011 (Amendment bill 2022 ) with alterations contrary to the agreement," the statement read in part.
"Efforts to transform the wildlife service, national security, national police service, and civil defense service from parliamentary forces to law enforcement services are being lost in the TNLA. The TNLA is also changing the provisions in the permanent constitution-making process bill," the SPLM-IO alleged.
Bol Joseph Agua, a representative of the National Democratic Movement party within the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) coalition, claimed the unilateral decision by some parties to pass the bill is illegal.
"The NCAC draft was the agreement of all the parties signatory to the R-ARCSS and any alteration or changes made by the parliament are illegitimate and it makes the document not what is meant," he said. "There is a tendency by the SPLM and its allied parties to think that if they sit and meet a quorum of one-third in the sitting, then they can continue passing any bill."
Joseph stressed that the parliament consists of all parties to the agreement and if any party boycotts, then decisions made are not binding.
"Any party that has begun to boycott, regardless of the number of members present in the parliament, the parliament becomes illegitimate," he asserted.
As per the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011, as amended, "In carrying out its duties, the reconstituted TNLA shall support the Agreement and pass legislation that permits and aids the transitional procedures and reforms outlined in the Agreement. In the reconstituted TNLA, decisions regarding this Agreement must be made by two-thirds (2/3) majority of all members or by consensus if that is not possible."
Source: Radio Tamazuj