13th May 2021
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Why activists want appointment of governors nullified

Author: Okot Emmanuel | Published: Friday, October 9, 2020

The newly-appointed governors take oath of office at the presidential palace in Juba on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 | Credit | Presidential Unit

A group of activists has petitioned the Supreme Court for what they call a “violation” of women’s constitutional rights by the ruling SPLM party after only one female governor was appointed in the new unity government.

The petition was received on Thursday by the Deputy Chief Justice, John Gatwich Lul, who promised to submit it to Chief Justice, Chan Reec Madut, for consideration.

The activists accuse the ruling SPLM party of not respecting the constitution and provisions of the September 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement.

The agreement grants a 35% gender quota for women at all levels of government.

In June, President Salva Kiir appointed nine state governors and three administrators for the three administrative areas.

Only one of them is a woman nominated under the opposition SPLM -IO of Dr. Riek Machar.

Samuel Mading,  the counsel for the petitioners said the fact that the president’s party did not appoint any woman in its six gubernatorial slots violates the constitution and the 2018 peace agreement.

“This appointment disregarded the participation of women, out of 10 governors we only have one female governor-appointed and this is in violation of the constitution that requires the government to reflect women’s participation at all levels of government,” lawyer Mading said.

“The prayer in that petition is actually to nullify the appointment of the governors and the administrators of the administrative areas so that women’s participation is reflected.”

Activist Wani Michael said if the Supreme Court does not grant their wish, they will proceed to the East African Court of Justice in Arusha, Tanzania.

According to the revitalized peace agreement, all the parties should empower and engage women in all the decision-making process.

This is part of 35% that the parties agreed upon to be given to women in the reconstituted transitional government of national unity.

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