27th February 2021
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Lawyers question Kiir’s move to appoint state officials

Author: Okot Emmanuel | Published: Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Salva Kiir, president | File photo

A group of lawyers have petitioned the Ministry of Justice over what they described as a violation of South Sudan’s constitution by President Salva Kiir.

“The concern that comes with the appointment is the distinction between the power of the governor and the powers of the presidency being exercise by the president himself,” Advocate Philip Anyang said, on behalf of the layers.

The lawyers and advocates have dismissed as unconstitutional the move by President Kiir to appoint all state government officials.

On Monday, the President issued a series of decrees appointing more than 140 constitutional post holders for Warrap, Unity and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states.

He previously also appointed officials for the Central Equatoria State government.

So far, Kiir has appointed Governors, Advisors, Ministers, County Commissioners, heads chairpersons of state commissions, including their members.

He is yet to establish and appoint members of the state legislative assemblies.

But the legal practitioners accuse the president of not respecting the constitution and the provisions of the September 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement.

“The agreement gives the president powers to appoint national ministers, governors and structures at the national level only. All the state appointment should be handled and done by the governors.”

The lawyers particularly pointed out Article 164 of the transitional constitution that gives the Governor –as the head of the executive organ in the state –the powers to appoint and relieve the Deputy Governor, Advisors, and state Ministers in consultation with the President and per the state constitution.

However, the government spokesperson told Eye Radio on Monday that the absence of revised constitutions in the states made President Kiir make the appointments.

Michael Makuei insisted that there is nothing illegal about the President’s move.

“The state constitution has not yet been incorporated into the agreement; and as such, this idea of power-sharing or responsibility-sharing is not in their (states) current constitutions,” Makuei stated.

The petition by the lawyers was received by the office manager of the minister of justice, who promised to submit it to his boss Rubben Madol, for consideration.

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