The approval of the roadmap for the extension of the transitional period of the current government has saved the administration from solvency, a lawmaker has claimed.
The Parliament’s amendment of the constitution, to incorporate the agreement on the roadmap for a peaceful and democratic end to the transitional period, now gives a legal basis for the extension of the period of government by another 24 months.
Speaking to the press after the discussion on the constitutional amendment to incorporate the roadmap, the spokesperson of the parliament, John Agany, said the constitutional amendment was done to make the constitution comfortable with the roadmap.
“The government of national unity at all levels, starting with the national government to the state and the administrative areas with all their legislative powers are hereby extended to another 24 months,” said Agany.
Last week, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Ruben Madol Arol, presented transitional constitution amendment bill number 11 for its first reading to the legislature.
The Speaker of the Transitional National Legislature, Jemma Nunu Kumba, then referred the bill to the parliamentary committee of legislation and legal affairs for consideration and scrutiny.
She instructed the committee to report to the house in two days.
The house suspended Article 199 upon a motion raised by the minister of justice, which invoked Article 84 of the Constitution allowing a summary presentation of the bill and treating it as an urgent bill.
This was in view of the requirement of the law that a constitutional amendment bill must, under Article 199 of the Constitution, spend not less than 30 days before being presented for a second reading.
When asked why the bill was treated with urgency, Agany said the government’s lifespan was due to expire in December 2022 and there was a need to act first.
He said the government was going to be dissolved on February 22, 2023.
Nor room for error
“There will be no vacuum within this period because we met the deadline before December.”
“If we were to arrive in December without the extension, then the government could have no mandate, but at least now we shall be going for 24 months. I hope this will bring us to the promised land of elections,” the lawmaker said.
“Definitely if the extension were not to take place, we were going to have no government, and then the vacuum could have been constitutionally created. “This now legitimises the government, and they will continue for another 24 months until elections,” he said.
However, there was no contention in the parliament, as the bill sailed through without any resistance.
The presidency agreed to extend the transitional period in August arguing that the pending period to the end of the deal would not allow full implementation of the remaining duties.
While the Troika dragged its feet in accepting the extension, the United Nations recently endorsed the move but called for the agreement to be implemented as soon as possible.