By William Madouk
Members of the reconstituted National Election Commission are set to be sworn into office today, Monday.
The National Elections Commission is a regulatory body that holds the responsibility of managing and overseeing all aspects of the electoral process within the country.
The swearing-in ceremony will take place at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs meeting Hall at 10:00 A.M.
Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, cabinet minister and secretary general of the High-level standing committee for implementation of the 2018 peace agreement urged the appointed members to report for oath-taking.
“[I] wish to inform all members of the recently reconstituted National Election Commission (NEC) to report for a swearing-in ceremony on Monday, January 8, 2024, at 10: AM,” said Lomuro.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit reconstituted the NEC in November 2023 together with two other elections institutions.
The National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC), National Elections Commission (NEC), and the Political Parties Council (PPC), setting the stage ready for elections.
Incumbent NEC chairperson, Prof. Abednego Akok Kacuol has been retained as the chairperson, representing the SPLM ticket.
Michael Yabagayo of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) was appointed NEC deputy chairperson and Mac Maika Deng, a civil servant, was retained as the Chief Electoral Officer.
Mr. Edmund Yakani the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) hailed the swearing-in declaration.
“The swearing in of the leadership and members of the NEC is a long-waited task to be delivered for setting up effective civic engagement for the conduct of the expected national general elections by December 2024 in a credible, free, fair, and peaceful manner,” he said.
He added that following the swearing-in, the government must allocate adequate funding to allow the institution to implement its mandate.
“It is time for the incumbent political leadership at various levels of the government to walk the talk for their call for elections,” Yakani noted.
“A moment of political maturity and discipline is required to be demonstrated for nurturing public traits and confidence in holding the forthcoming national elections in a democratic manner,” he continued.
To him, polls are a process and not an event that requires a real demonstration of political commitment and will nurture right from the step of the electoral process that the votes will be inclusive, credible, free, and fair.
But Yakani also cited that it cannot happen without any form of political and civic restrictions for any legitimate political and civic actor.
“CEPO will be undertaking effective civic engagement of the public on the expected electoral process,” the boss of CEPO promised.
The NEC also ensures that the elections are conducted in a free and fair manner and that the voting process is accessible to all eligible voters.
Their tasks include voter registration, voter education, ballot distribution and counting, and the resolution of disputes or complaints that may arise during the election period.
Ultimately, the National Elections Commission further plays a vital role in upholding the integrity of the democratic process and ensuring that citizens have a voice in their government.