South Sudan has taken a major step towards the formation of a multiparty Parliament with 550 Members, a Cabinet official has said.
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and top members of the country’s revitalised national unity government met on Wednesday and agreed on the formation of the unity Parliament and the appointment of nine state governments, Cabinet affairs Minister Martin Elia Lomuro said in a statement.
The President will proceed to appoint members of the Revitalised 550-Member Transitional Legislative Assembly and the Council of States, majority of them, from the ruling Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).
“The President shall issue a formal decree to formalise the decisions,” Lomuro, who is also the acting Minister of the Presidency, said in the statement issued after a meeting of the Presidency.
The fourth meeting of the Presidency, comprising President Kiir, First Vice President Riek Machar, Vice-Presidents, James Wani Igga, Hussein Abdall-Bagi Akol, Taban Deng Gai and Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, also authorised the President to appoint top officials of nine states.
Parliamentary appointees are expected to include 332 Members drawn from the SPLM/A, 138 members from Machar’s SPLM-In-Opposition, 50 members from the Sudan Opposition Alliance, 30 members designated to other political parties and 10 members to former political detainees, according to the South Sudan’s revitalised peace agreement.
The appointment of Parliament should mark the conclusion of a protracted political power struggle in South Sudan which started days to the celebrations to mark a national independence day in 2013.
The internal power struggle within the independence movement, the SPLM-A, led to the split of the ruling party into factions, one aligned to President Kiir and another aligned to his then deputy Machar.
The First Vice President fled into exile and peace talks to restore political stability ensued amid intense military hostilities.
The talks by the East African regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), led to the creation of a unity government which again failed.
Another peace agreement led to the creation of the revitalised unity government in 2018, which ushered in a staggered arrangement of forming the new government in bits, culminating in the creation of the Parliament.
Once it has been appointed, the formation of the government of South Sudan, would have been concluded.
In its statement, the Presidency said the meeting to discuss the appointments were cordial and an agreement to hold a peace meeting on the Upper Nile State communal conflict was reached.
The meeting would lead to the appointment of the Governor of the Upper Nile State, the Minister of Cabinet affairs said.