19th January 2020
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Southern Liech and Ruweng states Governors Dismissed

Author: Obaj Okuch | Published: 8 months ago

President Salva Kiir has removed governors of Southern Liech and Ruweng states from office through a Presidential decree.

In two separate decrees issued yesterday, Kiir dismissed the governor of Southern Liech, Stephen Taker; and replaced him with, Stephen Tair.

The President also replaced Ruweng governor Them Machar, with Lawrence Mabok.

Both replacements have military backgrounds.

Ateny Wek Ateny is the Presidential Press Secretary.

He spoke to Eye Radio this morning.

“The President has issued two decrees yesterday removing and appointing of the governor of Ruweng state and the governor of Southern Liech. The governor of Southern Liech state is Stephen Takir was removed and Major General, Stephen Tair was appointed in his place. And the governor of Ruweng state, Tham Machar was removed and Brigadier. Lawrence Mabok was appointed as the new governor of Ruweng state, so these are the two decrees President has issued yesterday.”

The Presidential decrees did not give reasons why the governors were removed.

But the act of firing and appointing governors by the President has been a point of a major contention by critics.

In 2013, some of the officials who joined the opposition decried the manner in which President Salva Kiir dismisses elected governors, without genuine constitutional explanation.

The Transitional Constitution stipulates that the President shall only remove a state Governor and/or dissolve a state legislative assembly in the event of a crisis in the state that threatens national security and territorial integrity of South Sudan.

It is not clear whether the situation in Southern Liech and Ruweng constitute a threat to the security of the nation, to warrant the dismissal of the governors.

The constitution further states that the President shall appoint a state care-taker Governor who shall prepare for elections within 60 days in the state where the Governor has been removed.

However, no election has ever been organized in the states or at the national level since the Sudan’s General Elections in 2010.

Majority of the current governors serving in the 32 States are appointed by President Kiir – with majority having exceeded their 60 days period.

The only remaining elected governors are; Louis Lobong of Kapoeta state, governor of then Eastern Equatoria, and Rizik Zachariah of Lol state, governor of the then Western Bahr el Ghazal state.

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