Tuesday, March 24, 2015

South Sudanese MPs Extend President Kiir’s Term Till 2018
March 24, 2015 (JUBA) – South Sudanese lawmakers on Tuesday passed the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2015, extending for more three years president Salva Kiir’s mandate in office.

President Kiir’s term, according to South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution, officially ends on 9 July. This prompted the introduction of the Bill, which sought to extend the president’s term in office for two additional years.

270 lawmakers attended Tuesday’s session with 264 voting in support of the extension while six opposition MPs voted against parliament’s decision.

The motion passed by parliament will see president Kiir in power until July 2018.

“It is unanimously agreed that the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2015 is passed and will become law on its signature by the president,” said speaker Manasse Mangok Rundial.

Opposition lawmakers had earlier tried to block the Bill but failed due to their few numbers in the assembly compared to their counterparts from the ruling party (SPLM).

Currently, there about six members from the main opposition, SPLM-DC in parliament, while the ruling SPLM party consists of 325 lawmakers.

The Bill will now be sent to the presidency before it is eventually signed into law.

Thomas Kundu, head of parliament’s information committee, said the extension will enable the country organise national census, draw its constituency borders and plan elections.

The mandate of current parliamentarians was equally extended for three additional years.

Dengtiel Kur, the chairperson of the assembly’s legal affairs committee said the ongoing conflict necessitated the decision by MPs to extend the terms of elected positions based on Article 100 (2) of the constitution.


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