South Sudan’s parliament has voted extending President Salva Kiir’s term in office. He will stay in office until 2021 as the country fails to hold elections this year.
Last week the government proposed a bill to extend President Kiir’s term for three more years. That bill has now been approved by lawmakers.
Speaker of parliament, Anthony Lino Makana says “Now the speaker hereby declares that the transitional constitution amendment is hereby passed by (the) national legislature”.
The extension will also apply to vice presidents, state legislatures and governors.
The opposition in South Sudan says the move violates the spirit of ongoing peace process.
Salva Kiir to stay on
The MPs have by their approval of the bill amended the constitution to enable Kiir prolong his stay in power.
Mr Kiir’s mandate has already seen an extension by three years in 2015. He then argued that holding elections was impossible due to the civil war.
Unending civil war
Fresh fighting broke out between government troops in South Sudan and rebels in June shortly after agreeing on a peace deal.
Government troops and rebels launched attacks on each other despite their leaders agreeing to a peace deal.
The deal was signed by President Salva Kiir and rebel leader, Riek Machar in Sudan’s capital Khartoum.
New peace deal
Former vice president Riek Machar under the new deal is to return to his former position.
He is to be re-instated in his position as part of a peace deal aimed at ending a civil war that has lasted almost five years.
Thousands of people have died in the 2013 civil war after troops loyal to the rebel Machar clashed with government troops.
South Sudan gained independence in 2011 from north Sudan but fighting broke out two years later.