By Akol Madut Ngong
South Sudan political parties are in disagreement to conduct the forthcoming elections in 2023, as they disputed during political parties’ round table discussion sponsored by UN-Women and other stakeholders.
The theme of the forum which ended on Friday said; “A Peaceful, Democratic and Stable South Sudan.”
Addressing the round table discussion, the National Minister of Peace Building Stephen Phar Kuol said that the dialogue was a pathway to nation building.
“Dialogue is well stipulated in the agreement that the transitional period of three years is a critical time to introduce that culture of dialogue, a culture of dialogue that must be replaced to the culture of war and political violence,” the minister said.
He said it is political parties’ constitutional right to practice politics, “you don’t wait but under the constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, the transitional constitution of South Sudan 2011, there is a limit, there are lines of process, you work in your right of expression and right of association”.
The Representative of Social Democratic Party of South Sudan (SDPSS), James Aleu said that they had deliberated, spoken frankly, and aired out all their grievances.
“As a political party and I really commanded the government that at least if all political parties would come together to dialogue their grievances, we have really learned a lot of lessons from the previous mistake that we have committed,” he said.
Mr. Aleu said that South Sudanese leaders came to realize that peaceful dialogue and peaceful co-existence is far better than violence.
He emphasized on the dialogue, saying what they discussed was a way forward to peaceful existence.
The SDPSS representative stressed that if all political parties can keep the spirit and follow monthly dialogue, they will come out with one national agenda that can bring peace into the country.
“They have put us into circular predicament, one thing cannot be done without the other, if we say, yes, we are going for election; how do we do the election without census? We need to do general census, just as we did in 2008, we need to find out how many people we have then we map out all political constituencies where the candidate will stand,” he said.
Mr. Aleu stated that if they are going for parliamentarian election or Presidential election, even the counties and all political constituencies should be established.
He stated that elections should be held when census is done, saying parties cannot go for elections without census; and census cannot go without peaceful co-existence.
Aleu stressed that there must be peace in all corners of South Sudan; “you need to count people but What I have heard and what I have seen in the National Media Radio and TV. Screen, people are going for elections and if the SPLM can say people are going for election, who will say no? We need to have all equal funding, these are our resources as South Sudanese, we need to be given our parts to conduct our campaign”.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of South Sudan United Party (OPP), Dr. Abraham Buong-Kuach Alich, said that South Sudan must go for elections.
He said that if the country did not go for elections, there will be no change.
“There will always be extension and extension, it has to be done if there is a will; this remaining nine months or seven months is enough for us to conduct the elections. Whatever they are think, they are not there, have to be done by the people who will do it for first. It is us to do it; we, they political parties must take it as a priority and minimizing the remaining months to organize what have not been implemented, if they said there is no census, census will be done within that period of time,” Mr. Alich said.