18th July 2019
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Speaker warns ‘vocal’ MPs against speaking to media

Author: Joakino Francis | Published: 2 weeks ago

MPs during a session to ratify R-ARCSS in October, 2018

The speaker of the transitional national legislative assembly has warned members of parliament against speaking to the media without his permission.

It is not clear what prompted honorable Speaker Anthony Lino Makana to issue the warning.

However, some lawmakers have been vocal lately – airing their views on topical issues, including budgetary discussions.

Recently, the MPs heckled the minister of finance and economic planning for presenting the 2019/2020 fiscal year budget yet civil servants and other government employees have gone for nearly 6 months without monthly salaries.

Honorable Dharuai Mabor, the youth MP who represents Rumbek East in Western Lakes, demanded accountability for the past budget and proper plan for the next.

He also questioned why projects such as Luri bridge construction keeps appearing in every annual budget.

“The speaker is the spokesperson of the parliament. I don’t want any member of parliament to go and issue a statement on behalf of the parliament without authorization of the speaker,” Hon. Makana told MPs in Juba on Monday.

“[This is] because the statements some honorable colleagues [made] to the media and they were talking things, which we as parliament, did not authorize them to talk about.”

According to the United Nations, freedom of expression is essential for peace and democracy in South Sudan.

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