Two Jonglei MPs reject suspension by governor

Two members of the Jonglei State parliament have rejected the suspension of their membership in the assembly by State Governor Denay Jock Chagor, calling it a political witch-hunt.

On Thursday, Governor Denay, who also chairs the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) in the state, suspended Anter Bayak and Gabriel Gatluak. The two suspended MPs are also members of the alliance.

But the suspended MPs remained adamant and told Radio Tamazuj on Saturday that they would continue discharging their duties despite the suspension order from the governor.

Lawmaker Gatluak, who represents Ayod County, said: “Denay is from SSUM, and I am from FDP. The governor’s decision on my dismissal is unlawful and is related to the impeachment of the finance minister. As MPs, we are defending the state constitution and citizen rights.”

Anter Bayak, another suspended MP, said he would not heed the suspension because he thinks the suspension was nonprocedural and that the governor does have the right to suspend him through a decree.

Meanwhile, Ter Manyang, a civil society activist with the Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA), appealed to Governor Denay to reconsider the suspension, saying the country’s constitution grants MPs rights to oversee the executive.

“I believe the governor was unhappy because these two MPs raised a motion to remove the state finance minister and the assembly’s information committee chairperson. The peace agreement does not allow the governor to suspend these MPs because they are not from his party,” he said. “He could have written to the head of the FDP party who has authority over the MPs.”

For her part, Grace Mathot, the acting assembly’s spokesperson, said they learnt about the suspension of the MPs via the media. “We heard the decree being read out on Radio Jonglei. As the assembly, we are still waiting to be officially informed.”

Source: Radio Tamazuj