National, News

Stakeholders demand neutral political parties’ council

By Gladys Fred Kole

Stakeholders and signatories to the revitalized Peace Agreement are calling for a neutral political parties’ council.

The stakeholders gathered on Thursday, with a high-level standing community for the implementation of the peace agreement at the Ministry of cabinet affairs meeting hall.

Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), Mr. Edmund Yakani said the meeting discussed a number of issues in regard to the Political Parties Council.

“We discussed the reconstitution of the political parties’ council based on action plans or the resolutions of the meeting held on June 22, 2023, among the political parties and resolutions that the parties have reached,” Mr. Yakani said.

According to him, the meeting was convened to ask the stakeholders in the revitalized peace agreement to express their opinions and endorse it for the reconstitution of the political parties’ council.

CEPO’s executive director explained that the political parties’ council by nature should be a non-partisan, meaning, it should be run by individuals who are not active members of the parties.

Yakani lamented that the positions of the chair, deputy chair and seven members of the council who are part-timers should not be subject to the power-sharing formula as enshrined in the revitalized peace agreement.

“We as stakeholders and other political parties that are not signatories to the revitalized peace agreement in Juba have confirmed that we have accepted that yes, the political parties’ council should be a non-partisan entity,” Yakani said.

He added that the chairperson and the deputy chairperson should neither be appointed by political parties that are signatories to the revitalized peace agreement nor non-signatories.

“We also looked at the membership of the council as based on Section 13 of the Political Parties Act, which states that the formation of the Political Parties Council, its members, and leaders must be composed of individuals with integrity, honesty, objectivity, experience, and non-partisan influence,” Yakani confirmed.

The stakeholders also endorsed that they would implement Section 13 and Subsection 5 of the Political Party Act.

“That particular provision we accept as enshrined in the law, but we also agree on subsection 6 of Section 13, which says the appointment of chair, deputy, and members of the council shall be approved by resolution adopted by 2/3 of members of the transitional national legislative assembly,” Mr. Yakani added.

The signatories to the revitalized peace agreement are 14 in number, composed of youth, women, persons with disabilities, and civil society organizations (CSOs), to mention but a few.

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