Official slams government for delaying election act

By Bida Elly David

South Sudan National Election Commission (NEC) has slammed the government against delays on the enactment of the national election act saying that the stagnation of the act would affect the roadmap and the deadline through which the bill would be executed.

The Election Commission is regarded as the guardian of elections in every country. In every election, it issues a Model Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates to conduct elections in a free and fair manner.

According to the peace roadmap, general elections are scheduled to be conducted two months before the elapse of the extended transitional period in February 2025.

Speaking during the 6th governors’ forum in Juba, the Chairperson of the Election Commission, appealed to the government to enact the election law without delays.

Professor Abednego Akok. the head of South Sudan Nation Election Commissions (NEC) said that delays on the finalization of the act would cause a downfall as the body concerned would be affected with necessary preparation strategies.

He said that the government and the parliament are the major bodies responsible for the delays while urging them to speed up the enactment so that the commission begins its mandate as stipulated in the tasks.

Furthermore, he pointed out that the government and the parliament would be answerable to questions from the peace parties in case the act reaches deadline without any finalization since the roadmap is reaching its deadline.

Professor Akok revealed that the commission has been readily equipped with its staff to start making necessary preparations to drive the Country ahead of elections but too much talks and procrastinations between the executive and the legislature impeded the move.

He said that 2025 seemed to be far but with less proximity the commission would take a lot of procedures to ensure that voting centers are prepared, staff are trained on how to run the processes.

The Chairperson of the National Elections Commission has called on the government to enact the National Election Act in time for the anticipated 2025 general elections.

Professor Abednego Akok says the commission is ready to conduct the general elections as stipulated by the roadmap, but this must be done lawfully.

He also requested the government to speedily work towards establishment of offices to enable the preparatory team through the commission to run their activities smoothly without drawbacks.

“We are guided by the election act to carry our full mandate. We cannot start exercising responsibilities without the guideline from the laws. If we do, it would be against the law. We as the commission are enthusiastic to implement the peace agreement through democratic elections. It is the responsibility of the executive and the judiciary to give us the go ahead since they are the key actors,” he said.

Akok pointed out that with the delays and procrastination of the act, the rest of the world who already know that the Country is on her way for general elections would sweep off their interest.

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