National, News

R-JMEC skeptical over 2024 elections

By Gladys Fred Kole

The Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC) has expressed skepticism and questioned the conduct of the anticipated 2024 general election in the country.

As, only 16 months left for the country to go into its first ever polls, RJMEC has raised a concern, saying it is obvious that a lot is yet to be accomplished.

The interim chairperson of R-JMEC, Rtd. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai, questioned the conduct of the election given the remaining period of time in the peace roadmap.

He spoke during the 31st reconstituted joint monitoring and evaluation commission’s monthly plenary in Juba yesterday.

“Is the implementation of the critical pending tasks as per the roadmap on track and at the appropriate pace? And will the prerequisites for free and fair elections be implemented within the timeline, and how? Gen. Gituai was questioned.

He, however, recommended to the interim unity government (R-TGoNU) that, given the remaining time frame, the reconstitution of the political party’s council and National Constitutional Review Commission should be expedited.

“Accelerate the enactment by the transitional national legislature of the national elections act, paving the way for the reconstitution of a credible and impartial National Elections Commission.” He urged.

He also called for the completion of the unification of forces and the allocation of adequate resources to security mechanisms.

Gen. Gituai further appealed for the unveiling of timely and sufficient resources for the implementation of all the critical pending tasks of the revitalised agreement to be provided soon enough.

“Encourage the expansion of political and civic space for all South Sudanese to take part in the conversations surrounding their participation in the political process while ensuring that women’s representation in the political process attains a minimum of 35% even in the constitution-making bodies,” he said.

The RJMEC interim chair called on members to attend the monthly plenary to reflect on the aforementioned assessment and constructively engage the R-TGoNU by identifying areas of requisite support to expedite implementation of the critical pending tasks.

The chairperson also appealed to the principals of the parties’ signatories to the revitalized agreement to consider meeting to take stock of implementation since the roadmap was endorsed a year ago.

He further urged them to dialogue on how to implement the critical pending tasks in the remaining time.

Under the governance chapter, as per the roadmap, by August 2023, the work of the ad hoc judicial act and reconstitution of the judicial service commission should have been completed by now.

“Reconstitution of the political parties’ council as well as other institutions and commissions at the national level, the national elections commission, the bill for which is still before the TNLA, and the drafting of amendments to relevant laws by the national constitutional amendment committee are among the pending tasks.

Six laws are yet to be reviewed, some of which are still with the minister of justice and constitutional affairs; others are before the reconstituted TNLA; and the enacted ones are yet to be operationalized.

In addition to the amendment of the national elections commission, the political parties’ council and the establishment of election management structures at the subnational levels are still pending.

However, the minister of cabinet affairs, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, said that the draught bill for the national election is still undergoing process in the parliament and is waiting for the passage of the financial year 2023-2024.

Once enacted, the national election commission will be restructured and reconstituted to include representatives of all the parties to the agreement.

On August 4, 2022, the parties to the revitalized peace agreement endorsed the roadmap to a peaceful and democratic end of the transitional period of the R-ARCSS.

The roadmap, which sought to extend the timeline of the transitional period by twenty-four months from February 2023, outlined a number of priority tasks with timelines that parties to the agreement considered critical for completion before the conduct of peaceful and democratic elections in 2024.



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