OPP parliamentary stalemate resolved

OPP parliamentary stalemate resolved
President Salva Kiir chairs meeting with OPP members on Thursday, September 16, 2021, in Juba. The party members agreed on sharing formula paving way for nomination of 28 members to the RTNLA. [Photo:PPU]

The members of Other Political Parties (OPP) will finally have representatives to the Reconstituted Transitional National Assembly (RTNLA) after President Salva Kiir midwifed an agreement that broke the months-long deadlock yesterday.

This now means that the party, which has been rocked by political bickering, will now have a representation of 28 members distributed amongst the parties subscribing to the umbrella after President Kiir okayed the nomination.

The agreement came as a result of a meeting of the party members with the President Salva Kiir to discuss and resolve the outstanding issues within the party on Thursday.

Speaking after the meeting on Friday, the Minister of Information Michael Makuei revealed the list of nominees of OPP for both national and state parliaments would be submitted to the president for appointment.

‘‘The OPP participation to the parliament is resolved, it is resolved today (Friday) and probably all the candidates who are nominated for this sit in the assembly will be presented today to the president for the appointment,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Other Political Parties Peter Mayen Majongdit said the members of OPP had agreed on modalities to present the list of the members to the parliament as well as the council of states.

“The OPP has finally agreed on modalities of the numbers and how to distribute the allocation of 30 seats in the parliament and eight seats in the Council of States. Hopefully, anytime from now, OPP will be able to submit him the list for an appointment,’’ said Mayen.

Making progress

According to him, this was reached after thorough discussions among the OPP themselves. Mayen said after resolving the dispute among OPP, it will now allow the government to embark on the implementation of the full formation of state legislative assemblies.

“We want to call on the members of the OPP to accept the decision that has been made by the leadership of the OPP for the sake of peace in this country, and to enable the legislation to operate effectively particularly in embarking on the implementation of the full formation of the state legislative assemblies,” he added.

President Kiir revoked the names of 28 candidates nominated by Peter Mayen from a list of members of parliament appointed in July after members of the OPP coalition expressed concerns over the nomination process.

The OPP is one of the signatory parties to the revitalised peace agreement and is an umbrella of six political parties.

The agreement has given the OPP 30 seats in the legislature in which the six-member groups are to share among themselves. However, the members of the party have criticised Mayen for violating the provisions of the agreement.

Push and pull

The agreement puts to rest the lengthy disagreement between Mr Mayen and the other party members subservient to the umbrella over the nomination criteria. Earlier in September 2021, Mayen differed with a proposal of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) to settle the issue terming saying it was unprocedural for them to decide on the formula.

“The proposed allocation of the members was not fair. We are single party and coalition we are trying to put them together,” Mayen told City Review in a telephone interview as he protested the proposals.

“We have rejected it because there was no inclusivity. According to the agreement we are supposed to be referred to the guarantors and will be the decision of the guarantors,” he added during Miraya’s morning show.

At the time, OPP Spokesperson Albino Akol had given a counter statement endorsing the approach of RJMEC.