Activist disapproves UN’s compression of South Sudan to fix election date

Edmund Yakani, Executive Director CEPO-File Photo

By Bida Elly David

A Civil Society activist has criticized the call by the United Nations to immediately fix a date for elections before finding remedies to their political and security impediments.

Earlier, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has compressed South Sudan to fix a specific date to conduct national elections. He said he was concerned that critical benchmarks of the revitalized peace agreement remained outstanding in South Sudan.

Mr. Guterres said, in his new periodic report on South Sudan which covers political and security development, the humanitarian and human rights situation and progress towards the implementation of the mission’s mandate defined the move.

Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, Edmund Yakani, Executive Director for the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization said that elections would only take place if all the political differences and the laws to guarantee free election is accomplished.

“The legal framework for the conduct of elections is not at place. The national political council is not yet reconstituted per the provisions of the revitalized transitional agreement, the national election has not yet been reconstituted and the parties are now disagreeing on the reform of the national Political Parties Act. The opposition is still maintaining decision of not attending parliamentary sitting active and on-going due to the ongoing violation of the national political parties Act,

“The manipulation of the national political party act will not allow election to occur until it is resolved and rectified. The content of the national political act is not in line with the version sent from the national constitutional amendment committee which is entrusted as an inclusive body to run the reforms. Since disagreement has started from the national political act over its manipulation, there will be no hope for the national election act to be passed if the first content regarding the national political act is never corrected’’ he said.

Furthermore, Yakani suggested that all political parties should reach into consensus by ensuring complete discussions of all the laws to guarantee free election and mitigate further manipulation.

“If we don’t reach in to consensus that these laws create conducive environment on the conduct of credible elections, the elections we are hurrying for may offer a chance of violence. The decisions by the United Nations Secretary general pushing South Sudan for elections will jeopardize the preparatory stage since all reforms to guarantee the elections are not at place’’ he added.

However, Yakani underscored the UN should have not made such step if they were concerned entity.

“I am a bit disturbed with the decision of the United Nations Secretary general proposing South Sudan to hurry up to fix election dates; that decision made will not make any remedy since South Sudan National Political act, the national election act and the security act are not yet reformed’’ he said.

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