By Kidega Livingstone
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar said no single party can decide alone whether or not to hold elections in 2022. This comes after the Office of the President on Tuesday said elections would not be held in 2022 as expected; saying calls for early election in 2022 was not justified.
Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper in an exclusive interview Wednesday 24th March 2021, Puok Both Baluang, the Director of Information and Public Relations for SPLM-IO said it was the parties to the revitalized peace agreement to decide on the 2022 elections. “The issue of election has been mentioned in the revitalized peace agreement that should be held at the end of the transitional period. The decision by the SPLM–IG should be discussed by all parties to the agreement,” he said. Puok dismissed the statement from the office of the President saying what was important right now was the implementation of the agreement.
However, Puok hinted that if all parties have genuine will to the agreement, they believe they can hold elections on time. “We believe all the parties to the agreement should discuss this article and evaluate if the article to the agreement is accepted or not,” Puok stressed. Puok warned that holding election was not one party’s decision and should not be decided by the SPLM-IG. Earlier on, during its national conference held in Juba, SPLM-IO had instructed its members to prepare for the upcoming general elections. According to the 2018 revitalized peace agreement, elections shall be held Sixty (60) days prior to the end of the Transitional Period.