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TORIT - 19 Nov 2019

Torit parliament reopens after two-month delay

The fourth session of South Sudan’s Torit State assembly reopened on Friday after two months.

Speaking during the assembly’s reopening, Speaker Charles Udwa said the state was operating without the parliament. Udwar urged the state finance minister to present financial statements for the year 2018/2019.

“We request all honorable ministers to present to the August House policy statements for the year 2019/20,” he added.

The speaker also asked the finance minister to present the draft budget for 2019/2020. He pointed out that the assembly expects a report from all lawmakers on activities done during recess period.

Udwar urged all arms of government to open a new chapter of working relationship.

For his part, the chief whip of the Council of States, Faustino Atem Kwaldit urged the three arms of the state government to correctly treat members of the population.

“The reason we liberated this country is to liberate ourselves. We need to treat our people well through good governance, democracy and freedom. These are values we need to accommodate in ourselves,” he said.

Meanwhile, the state governor, Tobiolo Alberio Oromo said parliament delayed to open due to bad roads resulting from heavy rains. He also admitted the heavy rains coincided with disagreements between him and Udwar prompting delays.

“Since the closure of this August House in June 2019, the recess period has been long because of heavy rains that has caused a lot of challenges on our roads as some of you were cut off in your constituencies and some of you have lost your vehicles. It was a lot of struggle,” Oromo said.

He added, “Let’s learn from the African proverb which says when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers and this is a result of two fighting elephants. Let’s do the right things, follow the constitution and respect party regulations”.

Oromo urged lawmakers to deliberate on issues concerning the welfare of citizens, saying it was inappropriate for the state ministries to present policy statements before a unity government is formed.

Meanwhile, a section of MPs disagreed with the governor’s decision barring policy statements.

Peter Otim Karlo, a lawmaker representing Magwi constituency, said formation of the unity government will not affect policy statements.

Flora Iliha, who represents Torit town constituency, claimed the governor fears that some state ministers could be impeached by the assembly for failure to provide proper accountability.