Elections talk dominates Machar-Mashatile meeting

By William Madouk

South Sudan’s first Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar hosted his South African counterpart, Paul Mashatile in talks pivoting on the conduct of credible elections at the top of their discussion.

According to office of the first vice president, the two leaders discussed the bristly issues that South Sudan must get right to exist as a nation during the transitional period through transparent elections.

The meeting also touched on progress and challenges facing implementation of the revitalized agreement, and bilateral relations between the two countries.

“Dr. Machar briefed the visiting delegation on the progress and challenges facing the implementation of the revitalized agreement and the prerequisites for conducting free, fair, and credible elections in South Sudan,” partly reads the statement.

Mr. Machar also informed the South African official that both countries share common values and principles, emphasizing the unique opportunity the meeting offered.

He further stressed the need for more collaboration between the two sisterly countries.

“He [Machar] also assured them of his commitment to continue working for the full implementation of the revitalized agreement,” it added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mashatile lauded the cordial relationship between South Africa and the East African nation.

He assured that he would assist in resolving some challenges that may hinder free and fair elections.

“His Excellency Mashatile emphasized that he journeyed to Juba on behalf of the South African President, His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, as a special envoy to track the implementation of the revitalized agreement and assist in resolving challenges that may hinder free and fair elections at the end of the transitional period,” he was quoted.

On August 1, President Kiir said his government had reached “a critical phase in the consolidation of peace in our country” as he called on the peace partners to join hands and make the election a reality.

The president told the doubting Thomases of the election that the plan to have the exercise was not empty talk.

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