19th June 2021
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Parties appoint 159 women legislators in violation of the peace deal -Activist

Author: Woja Emmanuel | Published: Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Legislators during a parliamentary session at the Transitional National Parliament on June 20, 2019. Credit| Joakino Francis/Eye Radio

South Sudanese political parties have yet again violated the revitalized peace agreement by appointing fewer women to the national parliament, a civil society activist has said.

On Monday evening, President Salva Kiir expanded and reconstituted the transitional national legislature to include 550 members of the various parties to the 2018 peace pact.

The new members of parliament are drawn from the SPLM party; the National Agenda, the Democratic Change (D.C) party, the SPLM-IO, the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), the Other Opposition Parties (OPP), and the Former Detainees (FDs).

According to the deal, the former Transitional government nominates 332 members, SPLM-IO with 128, members and South Sudan Opposition Alliance, or SSOA, with 50 members.

The Other Political Parties, OPP, have 30 representatives and the Former Detainees with 10.

But out of 550 legislators, the SPLM, SPLM-IO, Opposition Alliance, Former Detainees, National Agenda, and Other Political Parties appointed only 159 women.

“The former transitional government is supposed to appoint 116 female MPs, but they only appointed 102,” said Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization or CEPO.

“The SPLM-IO is supposed to appoint either 45 or 44 women MPs, but it appointed 37 MPs.”

Yakani further disclosed that “SSOA is supposed to appoint either 18 or 17 female MPs, but it appointed only 13 female MPs,” and “OPP per the provisions of the peace agreement are supposed to appoint 10 female MPs, but they appointed only 6.”

Yakani described it as a violation of the 35% women representation quota.

He noted that only the Former Detainees appointed 2 women MPs out of the 3 slots given to it.

The 35% representation meant the parties were to select more than 192 women legislators to the national parliament.

Observers say the parties have so far appointed fewer female Ministers, Governors, deputy governors, and local government officials.

The revitalized peace Agreement urges all the parties to empower and engage women in all decision-making processes.

On Tuesday, the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, Canada, the European Union, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden commended the government for establishing the parliament but urged the parties to adhere to the 35% female representation requirement as stipulated in the peace agreement

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