Oyet Nathaniel appointed first deputy speaker of parliament
Oyet Nathaniel, a leading member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO), has been selected as the first deputy speaker of the 550-strong parliament.
Seats in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, the largest in the history of the world’s youngest country, were distributed according to power-sharing quotas in the 2018 peace deal.
As part of the accord, parliament was dissolved and then reconstituted in May, with 550 legislators instead of the previous 400.
Of these, 332 lawmakers were selected by President Salva Kiir, 128 by SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar, and 90 others by other signatory parties.
The representative of the SPLM-IO at the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) “was selected to become the first deputy speaker” of the newly reconstituted assembly, Machar's spokesman Puok Both Baluang told Radio Tamazuj on Monday.
A former head of the Political Science Department at the University of Juba, Oyet joined SPLM-IO rebels in 2014 after the civil war erupted. He was active in the movement and eventually took part in peace negotiations between the opposition and the South Sudan government.
During the war, he held several posts in the armed opposition group, including governor of Imatong in Eastern Equatoria State.
The spokesperson also announced that the SPLM-IO party has selected Deng Deng Akon to serve as the speaker of the Council of States, the upper house of parliament.
Mr. Deng Deng was serving as deputy minister of cabinet affairs until his removal by President Salva Kiir on Monday evening. He was appointed to the executive last year on the SPLM ticket.
According to Pouk, chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of the various parliamentary committees allocated to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) had been appointed in accordance with the power-sharing agreement.
“The nominations have already been endorsed by the SPLM-IO Political Bureau. The party also named Farouk Gatkuoth Kam as the SPLM-IO chief whip,” he said.