National, News

South Sudan’s fate lies with Presidency-CEPO

By Staff writer

A civil society organization points at South Sudan’s presidency as a key body that has the responsibility to render credible elections or return the country to violence, by next year.

In a 12 paged worded observation roadmap, entitled “Domestic Elections Watch,” Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) recounts the much-needed role of the presidency for the conduct of the exercise.

“The presidency has a big role to display their political leadership for either transitioning the country successfully from violence to peace or returning the country for violence,” the report states.

The report urged the presidency to hold an urgent meeting to draw concrete decisions for fast-tracking the required processes for the conduct of national general elections by December 2024 in a credible, fair and peaceful manner.

“Failure by the presidency in meeting the required preconditions for the conduct of the elections in December 2024 in a credible, fair, free and peaceful manner, the chance of the country breaking into violence is higher and too risk,” the report reads in part.

Though behind the timeline, the rights body recommended reconstitution of the political transitional institutions including adequate financing of the institutions within the month of July 2023.

It also asks for fast-tracking redeployment of the first graduated unified forces and rolling out the training of the second face of the unified forces.

Opening of political and civic space for restrictive political parties and citizens’ engagement on matters of voter and civic education in relation to the conduct of the national general elections by December 2024

According to CEPO, political parties should hold joint discussions at state level on prevention of violent elections and promotion of peaceful elections.

Among its observations, CEPO cited a declining trust of the citizenry on the country’s leadership in their role to successful elections which are expected to transit South Sudan to peace.

“Citizens are daily losing trust and confidence on the political leadership role in taking primary responsibility of working towards the successful transition from violence to peace through the implementation of the pending tasks of the R-ARCSS,” it articulated.

The organization also recommended that civil society, faith-based leaders and the media should begin civic education and advocacy on the prevention of electoral violence.

The report maintains optimism on a successful peaceful election if the presidency acts positively in the next six months towards the conduct of the exercise.

“Political commitment is required from the presidency especially within these next six months, if really the presidency wants conduct of genuine elections by December 2024,” the report stipulated.

CEPO also pointed that serious political commitment and dedication in form of adequate finance and human resources is also required for the much-anticipated elections to be credible, free, fairs and non-violent.

The civil society organization intends in the next domestic observation reporting, to focus on the issues of the electoral system in terms of inclusivity and the concept that the winner should not take it all.

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