Kiir reconstitutes Parliament
In an announcement made on SSBC-TV last night, President Kiir has formally issued a republic decree ordering the reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA), South Sudan's parliament.
The formation of the new parliament has been expected for over a year, comprising a key part of the 2018 Revitalised Peace Agreement (R-ARCSS).
According to the R-ARCSS, the TNLA will be expanded to sit 550 members, and feature members of the SPLM, SPLM-IO, National Agenda, Democratic Change Party, the South Sudan Opposition Alliance and Other Opposition Parties as well as former detainees.
The makeup is as follows:
22.214.171.124. Incumbent TGoNU: 332 members.
126.96.36.199. SPLM/A-IO: 128 members.
188.8.131.52. SSOA: 50 members.
184.108.40.206. OPP: 30 members.
220.127.116.11. FDs: 10 members.
The R-ARCSS also mandates that speaker nominations will be split between the parties, with one deputy speaker stipulated as a woman.
A number of civic activists have heralded the announcement as an important step towards South Sudan's development. Recent issues surrounding local authority, formal budget allocations and Ministerial accountability have been largely blamed on a lack of a formal governing body.
Writing in February, the Sudd Institute noted that a historic lack of urgency with regards to parliamentary formation has contributed to a 'new normal' of violence and instability in South Sudan.
Alongside the new parliament, the Council of States is expected to be expanded from 50 to 100 members and reconstituted in coming weeks.
It is expected that a full list of MPs will be published imminently.