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South Sudan president approves resignation of SPLM chief whip

June 12, 2018 (JUBA)- South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Tuesday accepted the resignation of the chief whip of the ruling SPLM’s in the parliament and appointed a new successor to ensure that the MPs of the majority party back the government and vote as the party desires.

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President Salva Kiir Mayardit speaks to the National Legislature on the occasion of the inauguration of the three years extension of his mandate, on July 8, 2015 (Photo Moses Lomayat)

On 29 May, Atem Garang de Kuek resigned from the leadership of the SPLM whipping system following a disagreement with the Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly Anthony Lino Makana who refused to increase the salaries and emoluments of Members of Parliament.

In a meeting held on Tuesday at the SPLM House in Juba, President Kiir who is also the SPLM Chairman backed Makana’s position and approved de Kuek’s resignation, according to a statement issued after the meeting.

The SPLM leader, also, appointed Stephen Ajongo Akol Unguec as the new SPLM Chief Whip in the National Legislative Assembly.

De Kuek invoked the economic situation and the rampant inflation in the country to justify his demand to increase the salaries but the same argument had been used against his request which may open the door for similar demands from the other government institution particularly the army and civil servants.

The Chief Whip meets regularly with the President to give backbench MPs’ views and warn of any impending upheavals among the majority’s MPs.

(ST)