18th July 2019
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MP says TNLA not against Finance Minister

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: 3 weeks ago

Members of the TNLA rise to speak during the heated debate on the 2019/2020 FY budget on June 20, 2019. PHOTO: Joakino Francis/Eye Radio

A Member of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly says the MPs are not against the Minister of Finance although they refused to listen to him present the 2019/2020 budget a week ago.

Last week, the lawmakers interrupted the presentation of the fiscal year budget –protesting the lack of salaries for civil servants.

The MPs said the Minister of Finance will not be allowed to table the new budget if Salvatore Garang does not pay 6 to 7 months salaries for all government workers.

They also demanded accountability for past budgets that were passed by the house.

The chaotic scene forced the speaker to suspend the sitting to another day.

Read related story: https://eyeradio.org/mps-shut-down-new-budget-hearing-over-unpaid-salaries-for-civil-servants/

The actions of the MPs was criticized by the Council of Ministers.

Information Minister Michael Makuei said the cabinet insists that the minister be given a chance to first present the new budget, then answer their concerns.

Read related story: https://eyeradio.org/cabinet-implore-mps-to-first-listen-to-finance-minister/

But some MPs ruled out the possibility.

Over the week, backdoor caucuses meetings have been ongoing at the national parliament.

Speaking to Eye Radio on Friday, the chairperson of the Information Committee at the TNLA, Honorable Paul Yoane said the MPs only raised concerns in the interest of the public.

“They [MPs] are not against honorable Salvatore Garang Mabior, they are talking about an issue, and they are concerned about the citizens,” he said.

Honorable Yoane said their actions do not amount to intimidation or a demand for the dismissal of Salvatore Garang as Minister of Finance.

“I believe that as a government, the institutions, the legislature, the executive, they are concerned. But this time round we will leave our citizens, we will talk on their behalf because this is the mandate that they have given us, and we will not shy to speak it within the law,” he added.

It remains unclear whether the cabinet will agree to paying clearing salaries of all civil servants as demanded by the MPs.

But Honorable Yoane said he was optimistic because “if you follow these days in the media, the President of the Republic is fighting corruption, and the parliament is going to be in the forefront to join President [Kiir] to ensure that the issue of corruption is going to become an issue of the past.”

Yoane was refering the act by the President last week to establish a committee to investigate the presale of crude oil over the past few months.

The next parliamentary sitting has not been announced.

Normally, the assembly has three regular sessions every week -on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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