TNLA Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba. (File photo)

TNLA shortens recess, to resume in February 2024

Parliamentarians are set to take a one-and-a-half-month recess according to Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA).

Parliamentarians are set to take a one-and-a-half-month recess according to Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA).

Originally, members of the national parliament were scheduled for a three-month recess, during which many MPs would visit their constituencies. However, during an extraordinary meeting at Freedom Hall to mark the end of the 2023 sessions on Thursday, Speaker Kumba announced a revised recess period, stating that she had coordinated with President Salva Kiir and they both agreed to a shorter break.

“I would like to sincerely apologize for the extended sitting which was beyond my control. I had to consult with His Excellency the President on the recess as outlined in our conduct of business regulations,” Kumba explained to legislators.

She said parliament was initially scheduled to go on recess on 13 December 2023, however, before finalizing the duration of the break, guidance from the president was sought, considering the option of a three-month recess as outlined in the conduct of business regulations.

“As you are aware, our conduct of business regulations mandates the parliament to go on recess on 13 December, which was yesterday, and resume in the first week of April,” Kumba stated.

Given the current transitional arrangements and the Roadmap for implementing the peace agreement, the speaker clarified that consultations with the head of state were necessary. Consequently, the president advised a recess of only six weeks.

According to Speaker Kumba, lawmakers will commence their break on 15 December 2023 and are expected to resume their duties on 1 February 2024. This decision comes in response to some parliamentarians already requesting payment for their recess allowances covering the first and second sessions.

Speaker Kumba reassured that members would receive their recess allowances before Christmas, as confirmed by the National Ministry of Finance and Planning.

“Regarding your recess money, it will be disbursed before Christmas as per the information from the Minister of Finance,” she said. “The Clerk will oversee the process.”