National, News

Gov’t mulls reviving printing press for ballots

By Aweye Teddy Onam


South Sudan government has dispatched a technical team from the Ministry of Information to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a mission to look for a reputable, competent technological company that will come and revamp the government printing press.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Information posted on its official page, the government is planning to restore its printing press situated inside the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) to prepare it for printing ballot papers for the 2024 general elections.

The delegates, led by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information, Dr. Yath Awan Yath, flew to Abu Dhabi over the weekend to identify the best printing company to restore the government printer.

“As the country prepares for general elections come 2024, the Ministry of Information, Communication Technology, and Postal Services dispatched a high-powered delegation to the UAE to identify the best type of printing company to restore the government printing press in order to facilitate the government securing the upcoming elections,” the statement partly read.

Last Saturday, the delegation visited the UAE’s giant printer, United Security Printing, to acquaint themselves with the company and see if it could be the best solution for making government documents.

After the inspection visit, the head of the delegation, Dr. Yath Awan, told state media from Abu Dhabi that they had agreed with the company to dispatch a team of experts to South Sudan to come and assess the redundant facility on the ground.

According to Yath, United Security Printing is a one-stop provider of total security printing solutions catering to the evolving and expanding secure printing business needs of banking, government, telecommunication, retail, hospitality, transportation, and other industries seeking efficiency, security, and personalization.

It’s barely 16 months to the end of the extended implementation roadmap on the revitalized agreement, which is expected to be wrapped up with elections in December 2024, and the interim unity government is rushing against time to prepare for the first country’s general election.

Last year, the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party ticketed President Salva Kiir as the party’s flag bearer for the 2024 elections.

Endorsement rallies for Kiir’s candidature are booming, with so far one held for the greater Bhar el Ghazal region, and Upper Nile and Equatoria are mostly likely to follow suit towards the end of this year.

And with the reconstitution of the key election institutions last week, the government seems to have set the bar high for the conduct of the highly anticipated 2024 presidential election, reassuring doubting Thomases of the surety to hold the polls.

But the main SPLM-IO opposition party is yet to display its seriousness to participate in the looming polls as they agitate for full implementation of the roadmap-pending task, saying failure means they will participate only if there is a conducive environment for free and fair pools.

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