The tale of the new nominees to the fourth East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has taken a new twist, as South Sudan’s Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) revokes its resolution confirming nine members to the august House.
This action comes as the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) was getting ready to hear inter-parties an application filed by Mr Wani Santino Jada, asserting that the act of President Salva Kiir who appointed, by decree, nine persons to represent the partner-state in EALA was in violation of Article 50 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC).
Mr Jada, a 22-year-old citizen of the Republic of South Sudan, had earlier obtained an ex-parte order from EACJ, restraining administering the oath of office, or otherwise recognizing nominees from the Republic of South Sudan pending the hearing yesterday.
Before a panel of judges, under EACJ Principal Judge, Monica Mugenyi, the first two respondents, Attorney General of the Republic of South Sudan, and the Speaker of the Parliament of South Sudan admitted that the appointment and consequent confirmation violated Article 50 of the EAC establishment Treaty.
The South Sudan Justice Minister, Mr James Mayena Oka and Clerk of South Sudan Transitional National Legislative Assembly, Alalla Younis Said told the Court that having learnt of the violation fact, the South Sudan TNLA revoked the approval of the nine nominees and that new elections would have to be held, at least by next week, to meet requirements of Article 50.
On the bench, there were also the EACJ Deputy Principal Judge, Isaac Lenaola and judges Faustin Ntezilyayo, Fakihi Jundu and Audace Ngiye. After the Court was notified of changes in the current state of affairs in regards to the appointments and approval, Mr Jada withdrew his application as it was likely to be rendered an academic exercise.
The respondents conceded that the President of South Sudan has no mandate to appoint EALA members. They also produced a letter revoking the appointments signed by the speaker of the Parliament.
Consequently a consent was filed to the effect that the appointed members of EALA from South Sudan is revoked and that it would prepare the election rules to comply with Article 50 of the Treaty and that they will repeat the exercise after approving their election rules. The third respondent was EAC Secretary General.
Reports reaching the ‘Daily News’ here had it that the South Sudan MPs supported a motion raised by Chairperson of Legislation and Legal Affairs Committee, Mr Dengtiel Ayuen Kur, who formed an opinion that it would be just to withdraw the parliamentary approval of the nine members who were confirmed by the assembly in March this year.
Mr Kur was quoted as saying in TNLA that although South Sudan sent its members to the Assembly, it had turned out that some basic requirements of the Treaty were not met.