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South Sudan: Unity State Lawmakers Vote to Oust Speaker

Lawmakers have passed a no-confidence vote against Unity state speaker Maguek Gai Majak, shown here addressing a crowd during celebrations of South Sudan's independence. (VOA/Bonifacio Taban)

Lawmakers in South Sudan's Unity state have accused Assembly Speaker Maguek Gai Majak of corruption and violating the state and national consitutions, and voted to remove him from office.

In an extraordinary session on Monday, 28 out of 48 state parliamentarians, all from the ruling SPLM, voted no-confidence in Majak and called for him to resign.

"We, the members in the state legislative assembly, nominated you in 2010 to the position of the speaker.

"Now it is time to request you to step down because our expectations are not met, as you failed for nearly two years now to perform the duties entrusted to you by all of us and the laws,” Jeremiah Gatdet, one of the lawmakers who voted to remove Majak, said.

The disgruntled MPs have a list of gripes with Majak, including that he passed a policy to reduce civil servant salaries without first putting it to a vote; that he allegedly hired out three government vehicles to MPs; and that he allegedly diverted funds earmarked for the state assembly to his own businesses.

They have also accused Majak of not submitting bills passed by the state legislature to the Unity state governor to sign.

Majak refused to comment on the legislators' action, saying he wanted to talk to them first and he has denied previous accusations of wrong doing by MP's.

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