By Agoku Christine Taban (Guest writer)
Endorsement of the SPLM-IG party flag bearer and launching of SPLM-IO party membership registration in some states are indicators of an eminent democratic election process. This will definitely involve the participation of many legally registered political parties in the country.
Leveling political potholes and creating conducive strategies by the ruling party leadership for all other actors to reach the communities at the grassroots, is gesture of will for democracy. Though, the communities will have mixed reactions towards the leaders for taking long without appearance.
The quest for services will trigger large turn ups of the communities to such rallies, so political leaders should expect to fix bitter, tough and provoking questions or comments. Leaders might also toughen their grips on each other with provoking questions, pointing out covered secrets to which, one wouldn’t like to be exposed, and many other things surrounding the election processes during canvassing for votes.
Most importantly, the stakeholders should be in control of their emotions and actions during the election process. It’s this opportune moment that citizens will freely interact and discuss issues to understand the faith and strength of presidential contestants so they to make informed decisions on whom to vote to power. At this time, rules of engagement should highly be observed.
Freedom of the press and expression as well as freedom of speech of every citizen should be embedded on the path of democracy. These, play significant roles in the creation of a free and fair atmosphere and right forth acceptance and legalization of the election results.
Clumsy environments surrounded with harassment, beatings of journalists when on duty, unnecessary arrests due to bitter fact tales, are unwarranted and political opponents be granted equal space.
Abductions by “unknowns” and tortures over spoken truth have a long-time toll on society and the nation as a whole. As this country is heading to become a beautiful bride in Africa, such anomalies should be avoided.
Much effort should be exerted on preparing the surrounding area to be peaceful and safe for every citizen, this will also build the hopes of South Sudanese in the camps to come back and take part in the planned next year’s election to be referred to as the first of its kind in the country.
The proposed next year’s election will be the most vibrant development to show maturity in democracy for the first time, where every citizen takes the opportunity to decide individually, the leader to vote to power.
The call is for the stakeholders to provide the voters with safe and secure surroundings across the country. Citizens who are the key determinants of the elections require protection, that is why they need this process for making choices for their leadership.
As party candidates are yarning and busy with preparations in various localities across the country, let them know that even if bitter words will be thrown at them during the campaigns, “be sober, kind, and understanding.” It’s an election process where abilities of understanding, and tolerance, the heart of nationalism, are key tools of the game.
Leaders should seek apology from the citizens where necessary to pave ways for reconciliation and forgiveness. Not targeting, the past holds them accountable and responsible, thus only the wise do apologize.