No more extension, ballot is the only path to power   

By William Madouk

President Slava Kiir Mayardit said his administration will go for general elections after the end of transitional period as the only path to power, adding that no more extension for interim unity government.

The head of state made this remarks before hundreds of thousands of Aweil residents who converged at streets and Freedom square to welcome him.

President Kiir during his visit to Northern Bahr el Ghazal state reiterated his government’s commitment to ensure that road networks reach to all parts of the country, adding that his administration is ready for elections.

“My government will go for general elections after transitional period and no more extension of transitional government,” Kiir said.

He also said that the peace agreement is holding and that the roadmap has been approved by all parties and is currently being implemented.

Separately, President Salva Kiir warned local communities in Northern Bahr al Ghazal State against the use of girls as a source of wealth rather than sending them to school.

“The issue of girl child education needs special attention. Girls should not be taken as source of wealth rather should be given the same opportunity like the boy child to go to school,” the President echoed.

Last week, President Kiir during his visit to Western Bahr el Ghazal state on Saturday asked thousands of citizens to prepare for elections at the end of transitional period.

“I accepted the extension of the transitional period by 24 months to give the political parties ample time to prepare for general elections,” Kiir said.

“We want to bring an end to transitional governments. We should have a democratically elected government, so you, the people of Wau, should prepare for elections,” he added.

The Head of state cautioned political parties that might not make it during elections, to accept defeat and cause no more havoc.

The ruling party, SPLM led by President Salva Kiir Mayardit seems to have embarked on a campaign to bolster their chance of winning, although one SPLM official denied that Kiir’s visit to Bahr el Ghazal region shouldn’t be misconstrued for early campaigns.

SPLM Deputy Secretary for Political Affairs and Mobilization, and the Acting Secretary for Information, Santo Malek, said the tour to the three states—Warrap, Western Bhar El Ghazal, and Northern was not a political campaign.

As clock is ticking with only 1 and half year left for the upcoming elections, South Sudan is in high gear with aspirant political parties embarking on mobilization to gain foot.

For instance, the Federal Democratic Party (FDP) launched a massive membership drive over the weekend in readiness for the upcoming general elections in 2024.

Among the activities lined up by the FDP are the registration of new members, political rallies, and cadre training as they seek to lure more members into their ranks.

The party chairperson, Gabriel Changson Chang, said the launch marked the beginning of a brighter future for South Sudanese opposition politicians.

Also, during the 4th SPLM/A-IO National Liberation Council (NLC) in December 2021, Dr. Riek Machar told his members to start preparing for the recruitment of new members into the party once it announced all the chairpersons, deputy chairpersons, and secretaries across the country.

On Saturday, President left Juba for Kuajok of Warrap state to attend the catholic church’s Centenary celebration.

While enroute from Wau to Warrap, President Kiir had a brief interaction with the public in Wau before proceeding to Kuajok where he spent a night and attended the celebration on Sunday.

After the celebration, Kiir and his delegation left for his rural home in Akon and then to Northern Bahr El Ghazal State on Monday, according to the press secretary in the Office of the President.

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