Juba, August 2, 2013 (SSNA) — The mystery surrounding the delaying appointment of South Sudan’s VP has captured the attention of the public since president Salva kiir decided to start his first cabinet appointment by naming Dr. Benjamin Marial as a foreign minister and international cooperation.
On July 31, president Kiir formed his cabinet, naming ministers and deputies ministers. The move by the president to appoint cabinet ministers and leave the VP post unoccupied has generated questions as to what cabinet position should be established first.
Soon after the president selected his 19 cabinet national ministers and 10 deputy ministers, the South Sudan News Agency decided to conduct its own search over the mysteries delaying the announcement of the country’s vice president.
Well placed source within the government revealed that the expectation from the public and differences among members of president’s inner circle over who should be appointed to the VP post have caused nothing but ‘confusion’.
“When our president named Dr. Marial Benjamin Barnaba as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, we started to see reactions from our people, and we believe most of those reactions are positive”, the source who requested his name to be withheld for security reason confirmed.
South Sudanese have in the first expressed dissatisfactions over Kiir’s previous government, accusing it of massive corruption, insecurity, among others.
“You know, by seniority, SPLM’s deputy Chairman Wani Igga is the one who should replace our former vice president Machar because the party’s rules dictate. …Kiir has constitutional rights to appoint anyone he wants but the party laws make it tougher for him, maybe he will, I don’t know”, the source explained.
“If you think about it, the appointment of Igga as next VP looks constitutionally right but politically useless, the man [Wani Igga] is weak to the core; you don’t want people who will not help you tomorrow. I am not aware of other people who may be on the president’s short list, you know, even the possibility of giving the position of VP to an opposition party has also been disscussed", he continues.
Many south Sudanese believe that the speaker of South Sudan’s parliament Wani Igga is not a "serious politician". They believe he is too ‘submissive’ to the president.
“The president is in constant discussion with anyone he thinks can give him good feedback”, the source says. The source also questions the strategy behind the appointment of ministers, deputy ministers, and the ‘yet to be determined VP’.
“What happened after the July 31st, when the president appointed his cabinet ministers?” asked the source. “You can’t keep bringing in people who failed and corrupted in their first assignments”, he continues.
One of Juba’s political analysts who prefer anonymity believes that the comment by our source appears to be a direct reference to the newly appointed South Sudanese defense minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk, who is the governor of Jonglei state – a state with a history of rebellions and violence.
“President Mayrdiit mixes politics with policy, appointing a failed governor as a nation’s top military man is a blow to his legacy”. May be Governor Kuol did good things in Bor Town, and that is all I know”, he asserted.
In an exclusive interview with the South Sudan News agency, the source further exposed that the appointment of Telar Deng and Kuol Manyang Juuk who are prominent members of the SPLM deepens the disagreement between some powerful members within the president’s team.