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MALAKAL - 27 Mar 2013

Upper Nile assembly suspends three members

Upper Nile State’s Legislative Assembly has voted to suspend three members, raising the stakes on political tensions over the state annual budget report.

Hon. Venansio Cowang Adwok, one of the suspended members and the former head of the ruling party bloc in the assembly, told Radio Tamazuj from Malakal town that the governor was behind the suspension last week.

He said that parliament members received clear directives from the governor to suspend himself and the other two members, Hon. Omar Wol Diu and Hon. Omar Bol Gabriel.

The ousted MP accused the governor, Simon Kun Puoch, of breaching Article 66 of the state transitional constitution and Article 12 of the council regulations, which say that the executive authorities are not entitled to interfere in the state legislative affairs.

The suspended members had rejected the endorsement of the annual expenditure in the state’s budget report.

According to Adwok, the violation is not the first of its kind, but a consequence of political crisis in the parliament since October last year, when some state parliament members requested the dismissal of the head and deputy of the SPLM bloc, after which the new head was ‘illegally’ appointed by the governor.

“The activities of the state legislative assembly are the extension of a lot of political crises in the state in addition to the assembly and other institutions in the state. This suspension came as a result of parliamentary tension since since five months back,” Adwok commented.