National, News

Public mistrusts election conduct-report

By Charles K Mark


A report on Pre-election domestic observations on forthcoming general elections has shown that there is higher public mistrust and lack of confidence in the conduct of timely and credible elections.

The report released yesterday by the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) detailed key public conceptions on the conduct of the election at the end of the transitional period.

CEPO’s Executive Director, Edmond Yakani said that while political actors from various establishments across the country are already engaged in premature election campaigns, the public perception on the election is not very positive.

“Our pre-elections domestic observation findings are demonstrating serious concerns that are centered on merging political attitudes and culture that may undermine the spirit of free, fair, credible, safe and peaceful elections,” Yakani said.

Among the key findings in the report are contradictory messages from the political parties’ leaders and their supporters.

The report urged the leadership of the Reconstituted National Elections Commission (NEC) to avoid interference of members of some political parties in administering the affairs of the commission

“The act of early politicization of NEC by parties is dangerous and it will result in questioning of NEC’s credibility by the public,” Yakani read the report.

He urged the leadership of the commission to commit to principles of sincerity, honesty, impartiality, non-partisanship, and independence.

The activist cautioned that without proper consensus from the political leadership, chances of having violent elections, especially at the state level are higher

The director also urged that inadequate or low financing of the electoral process will destabilize efforts towards a reliable and credible election.

“Delaying operationalization of the National Elections Commission may contribute in affecting the preparation for the conduct of the national elections,” he added.

He called for the removal of restrictions on political freedoms of association, assembly, movement, and campaign from all political parties.

Yakani suggested that civic and voter education should be spearheaded by civil society, media, and faith-based groups for effectiveness.

“To win the intended inclusive elections where youth and persons with disabilities gained meaningful participation and representation it requires the national elections commission to develop clear rules and regulations,” He said.

The observation election reports also called for political parties to enforce effective elections gender agenda at their respective parties.

The report urged that early warming on elections related violence be developed with faith-based leaders and civil society entrusted with the responsibility of mitigating elections related disputes.

The head of the South Sudan National Election Commission, Abednego Akok, said on Monday that the elections will take place in December as per the peace agreement.

“The peace agreement clearly states that elections will be conducted two months before the transitional period ends….Therefore, elections will be held by December this year,” he said after being sworn in yesterday.

Akok however pointed out that conducting an election requires various processes that can’t occur without adequate funding, urging the government to avail resources.



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