Re: Relief of Governor Taban Deng Gai of Unity State
Juba, July 9, 2013 (SSNA) — I heard this evening on the national television SSTV the Presidential Decree relieving the governor of Unity state, Governor Taban Deng Gai quoting article 101 (r), I quote “ The President shall perform the following functions: (r) remove a state Governor and/or dissolve a state Legislative Assembly in the event of a crisis in the state that threatens national security and territorial integrity; end quote. Mr. President, I was in Unity state on June 29th, 2013, there is no insecurity that threatens national security and territorial integrity in Unity state, instead Governor Taban Deng Gai and his government was very instrumental in bringing about peace and stability to the state. He was solely responsible for the coming and acceptance of your timely pardon by the armed group of General Bapiny Monytuel Wicjang who abandoned opposition against the government of the Republic of South Sudan last May.
Mr. President, allow me to remind you that Governor Taban Deng Gai was elected through universal adult suffrage in the general elections of 2010 and he has the same legitimacy before the constitution and his people of Unity state as yourself before the people of South Sudan. It was in the same election that your good-self was elected as President of the Government of Southern Sudan. As such, your action of relieving an elected governor is seen politically motivated and more importantly it is a violation of our constitution. It also undermines the very democratic elections of 2010 that gave you the legitimacy as President of the Government of Southern Sudan then, subsequently gave the legitimacy for you to be sworn in as President of the Republic of South Sudan on the declaration of independence as per article 201 (i)(b) of the Transitional Constitution, 2011.Mr. President, I urge you to live to your constitutional obligation that is “ ……, and shall diligently and honestly discharge my duties and responsibilities in a consultative manner to foster the development and welfare of the people of South Sudan; ………; that I shall protect and promote the unity of the people of South Sudan and consolidate the democratic decentralized system of government and preserve the integrity and dignity of the people of South Sudan…..; ” as the oath of the President stipulates in article 99 of the Transitional Constitution, 2011. Mr. President there is no constitutional provision that gives you power to remove an elected governor in a situation where there is no crisis such as Unity state.
Finally, I wish to reiterate my deep concern about your action relieving Governor Taban Deng Gai on the reasons you quoted in the Presidential Decree. I believe your decision would aggravate the prevailing state of insecurity in the country that may lead political instability. In order to preserve the integrity of our new nation and avoid crisis, I urge you to rescind your decision.