South-Sudan: Deadlock Over Dissolution Of Parliament
ADDIS-ABABA - "The position of the government is that this Parliament should not be dissolved and reconstituted but should be expanded to accommodate all the strange groups," said Makuei.
The parties to the conflict currently negotiating the Revitalization of the Agreement for Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) in Addis-Ababa have failed to agree on a new transitional parliament, after the opposition demanded the dissolution of the parliament and reconstituting it with just half of the current number of Members of Parliament.
On the fourth day, the delegates started discussing Article Eleven of Chapter One about the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and the Council of States.
Michael Makuei Lueth, Government Spokesperson said they negotiated with different positions on the fourth day.
"The position of the government is that this Parliament should not be dissolved and reconstituted but should be expanded to accommodate all the strange groups," he said.
Committees were formed to look in to the issues but the committee did not come up with solutions.
Dr. Lam Akol however said the number of Members of Parliament be reduced to 170-the originally elected number in 2010 because there is need to have a lean government.
"We need to save resources for other activities which are very important, things like repatriation of the refugees, resettlement of the internally displaced people," Akol said.
He argued that the opposition does not want positions, but want to have a Parliament that is going to deliver on the tasks and the mandate of the transitional period.
Former political detainee, Pagan Amum said the lifespan of the Parliament is coming to an end with the transitional period, hence a need for a new Transitional Legislature.
"The proposal of reducing the size is to make it effective, but also the country is going through economic crisis and having a huge parliament will be costly yet the country does not have the means for it," Amum said.
He urged that the new parliament can be a representative of all the groups like the political parties, civil society groups and youth even by a small number of members of parliaments.
"They (the government) are coming with a proposal of maintaining the status quo, they want the current parliament remain as it is without any new member going in, and that will not work in addition to the fact that it is too large," Amum said.
Edmund Yakani one of the civil society delegates in the HLRF said after the parties failed to agree on the article eleven about the national legislature, a mini committee was formed but could not break through.
He said today, the mediator, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will offer proposals on the sensitive articles for the parties to choose and agree on.
Yakani said people should not feel there is no movement forward with the disagreements because there is progress in the whole process.