National, News

We are not afraid of election-SPLM-IO

By Bida Elly David


South Sudan’s main rivaling parties have taken a new twist, the battle of strategies and drama to sort out their political difference, with one pointing to the other as a cause of impediment.

In a recent exchange between SPLM-IO and SPLM, one is labeled as shying out of election by silence, while the other perceives the opponent as being a stumbling block in the process of the exercise.

Recently, SPLM party Secretary General, Peter Lam Both shouted out the opponents, SPM-OI, saying they were quiet yet all other political parties had joined in a bid to prepare for conduct of democratic elections.

However, SPLM-IO’s acting press secretary breaks what the opponents perceived for silence by saying they are not afraid but ready for election.

Puok Both Baluang, speaking to No.1.citizen Daily Newspaper on Wednesday, cites SPLM as a stumbling block to free, fair and transparent election process.

“There is need to set the environment for conducting free, fair and transparent elections,’’ he said.

He said that as a constitutional right and also a democratic process, SPLM-IO, as a reformed party, believes an election is the way to go but there must be a clear roadmap.

In his argument Mr. Puok disagrees with the account that two third of political parties have joined SPLM in a move to push for elections.

He argued that there are no legal political parties in South Sudan to receive a permanent baptism.

“What parties? As we speak there are no legal political parties in South Sudan, hence, they are not registered,’’ he said.

Puok describes SPLM, SPLM-IO, as constitutional parties that operate based on agreement signed.

“If you search the agreement itself, you will not find any name such as the SPLM-IG or the other parties, except the SPLM and SPLM-IO,’’ he said.

Puok added that “In state of beating around the bush, SPLM-IG in particular their Secretary should focus on how to meet the conditions for conducting free and fair elections,’’ he said

The opposition acting press secretary said that there are still very many tasks to be met before the country moves for elections.

“We are calling for meeting the principles of elections first, security arrangement through deployment of the rest of the forces, meeting conducive political and civic environment so that people speak freely without intimidation,’’ he echoed

He noted that free movement and association of citizens remains high expectation of their party as recognized by the agreement.

Puok emphasized that repatriation of refugees and IDPs, conducting census, and finishing of the permanent constitution, remain key items to determine elections.

“We cannot have elections without a permanent constitution; we don’t need another interim government

Puok described SPLM-IO as a vocal and transparent party which agrees with the interest of the people of South Sudan.

Meanwhile, James Boboya, a political analyst rules out rushing for elections before

finalizing the outstanding issues in the peace agreement.

He suggests that government would first use available resources for improving the economy and developing the country.

Boboya urged the two parties to reach consensus on participatory decision making, working together in consultations, to lead to the implementation of the peace agreement.


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