Dismissing MPs with presidential decrees unlawful- deputy speaker

Dismissing MPs with presidential decrees unlawful- deputy speaker

The first deputy speaker of the Revitalised Transitional National Legislative Assembly has said the government has no power to terminate the membership of any Member of Parliament when proper procedures for removing their membership have not been followed.

Nathaniel Oyet Pierino raised the concern after the membership of a sitting MP was revoked in a Presidential Decree last week without a proper reason provided to the Parliament.

Oyet said it is illegal and unconstitutional to remove membership of a sitting Member of Parliament without following the procedures outlined in the transitional constitution of South Sudan that provides for the removal of their membership.

“We are informed that he has been removed by presidential decree, this is similar to a violation of our code of conduct, a violation to our constitution,’’ he protested.

“Article 63.1 outlines grounds for removing an honourable Member of Parliament. Yes, Members of Parliament were indeed appointed according to the revitalised agreement but the procedure for members of parliament is not upright revocation by a presidential decree or by executive order is by due process”.

 Dharuai Mabor Teny was appointed as a Member of Parliament in a presidential decree on the ticket of The National Agenda, under the consortium of incumbent TGONU, based on the agreement. He took oath in August as a full member of the assembly.

Mr Oyet said MP Dharuai has been attending all the sittings of the parliament and did not miss any of the sittings since the assembly started to conduct its business. He added that the leadership of the parliament did not receive any complaint about him which he said gives no basis for his removal.

Grounds for dismissal

The grounds for removing members of parliament are outlined in the constitution. Article 63 includes grounds such as mental infirmity or physical incapacitation, a conviction for an offence involving honesty or moral turpitude, a charge or declared bankrupt by a competent court, absence from a number of sittings without permission or acceptable reasons as shall be determined by the conduct of business regulations of each house.

A member can also exit through resignation in writing to the appropriate house, change of political affiliation or party where he or she was appointed to the national legislative assembly, assumption of any political office in a state or local government level or if a person dies.

“These are the only grounds for removing or loss of membership, any other procedure used whether by executive orders or by any other means is illegal and inconsistent with the provision of the constitution. Therefore, since it is inconsistent with the provision of the constitution, it is also null and void,” Oyet said.

He said the parliament has no power to terminate his membership from the sittings of the house if he chose to continue because no legal basis has been used to remove his membership.

He added they have been engaging the executive to find out why his membership was revoked with no proper explanation given to them but no explanation was forthcoming.

He advised the parties to consult with their representatives in the parliament first and compel them to tender resignation and avoid using executive orders.