National, News

Youth Union calls off elections over interference

By Charles K Mark

National Youth Union president is at odds with the minister of youth and sport, Dr. Albino Bol Dhieu, over an anticipated youth convention to elect new leadership.

Yesterday, the Chairperson of the National Youth Union, Gola Boyoi, convened a press briefing at the Ministry of Youth, intending to reveal frustration allegedly imposed by the minister on the smooth transition of leadership.

But the press conference was interrupted by ministry officials.

The union was supposed to explain to the youth fraternity through the media the efforts said to be egocentrically exerted by the youth minister in an attempt to divide the union.

Gola, who first briefed the national broadcaster in the first session of the conference, has revealed their plan to cancel the national youth convention that was planned for December this year.

“We are here to inform the public, the people of South Sudan, especially the youth, that the National Youth Convention that was scheduled to take place in December will not take place as stipulated or as scheduled because of some challenges that we are facing at the union,” Gola told the media.

He said the union has instead resorted to preparing for the council sitting scheduled for the 9th, 10th, and 11th of December. 

The Union’s Constitution, according to Mr. Gola, requires the Executive to call for a council meeting at the end of each term to formulate a preparatory committee that would dissolve the union.

The meeting, constituted by two-thirds (2/3) of the quorum, if convened, would also allow preparations for the election of a new leadership of the union.

“If we fail to conduct the election on time, we are going to have a council meeting on the 9th, 10th, and 11th, respectively. And if we do not reach the quorum required by the Constitution, then on December 11, we are going to make a press statement announcing the end of our term in office,” the youth leader stated.

If elections are not conducted, the current youth leadership has pledged to hand over the authority of the union to the Youth Commission in the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Sports.

“And now they will be the ones to form the preparatory committee to conduct the third National Youth Convention in the period of three months,” Gola continued.

He whispered some rumors, saying there was underground information that a few members of the council had announced they had formed a preparatory committee.

“We condemn that, and we want the youth to disregard all this information and wait for the official communication from the Office of the National Youth Union,” the union’s president reacted.

Before elections and a new body is voted into office, the constitution of the union demands an independent, credible, and transparent audit be conducted, with a report provided to assess the outgoing body.

Secretary General of the National Union Simon Yel told this outlet on the phone that Minister Albino Bol has deliberately frustrated their efforts for the smooth transfer of power.

At the end of every tenure, in case the incumbent leader fails to conduct elections, the minister has a constitutional right to form a steering committee to oversee the union until elections happen.

Yel thinks the minister plans to use that right to a fluke in a team of his desired members with whom he has influence and control and who will read the same page during national elections.

“He wants us to delay elections so that our term ends. And now he will use that constitutional right that the term has ended, and the election never happened,” the Union S.G. alleged.

He said they wanted the country’s youth to know what was happening so that they knew their rights and could choose to follow the right path.

Efforts by No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper to reach Minister Albino Bol for a response over the allegations was futile by press time as he could not be reached through his known contact.



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