Sudan’s parliament drops membership of Southern MPs

(KHARTOUM) — Sudanese parliament terminated membership of Southern Sudanese representatives and endorsed an amended interim constitution after the removal of all the articles related to the South.

The vote of the two chambers of the Sudanese parliament, which angered the Southern MPs, occurred after the formal adoption of the final results of Southern Sudan referendum in which voters chose overwhelmingly to secede from the North.

The Speaker of the National Legislature Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Tahir stated on Monday that Members of Parliament (MPS) from the southern Sudan ruling party ,SPLM, will not participate in the parliamentary session to be held next April.

“The southern seats in parliament will no longer exist from April and the parliament will continue with 351 seats instead of 450 until the end of its mandate,” said Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Tahir, who is also leading figure of the ruling National Congress Party.

The speaker said a list of the deputies deprived of their membership would be published within two weeks adding that SPLM’s MPs from Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan are not affected by this decision.

The head of the SPLM caucus in the parliament Thomas Wani said they were surprised by the decision adding they are only keen to remain in Khartoum to contribute to the ongoing discussions of Border demarcation and Abyei.

Yasir Arman the leader of the SPLM’s northern sector told Reuters that “What happened is a coup from the NCP against the constitution,” adding “The constitution should govern the period until July 9 and more surprisingly the NCP did not consult the SPLM.”

The Sudanese presidency decided recently that the participation of Southerners in the national government and other organs will continue to the end of the interim period on 9 July 2011. The SPLM officials warned that their exclusion from the national institutions means they will also stop the sharing of oil revenue before July.

Atem Garang the deputy speaker of the National Assembly threatened to stop the wealth sharing adding “It seems that we from now on wards we will rent Port Sudan and the pipeline and will not give any other portion (of oil income) to the north”.

The minister of presidential affairs Bakri Hassan Saleh informed formally the extra-ordinary session of the upper house, the Council of States and a lower house, the National Assembly of the results of the referendum. He also told them that the presidency decided in a meeting held on 7 February to recognize this result which was in afvor of the secession.

(ST)

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