National, News

Kiir, Machar tenure extension opposed

By Mamer Abraham


Activists and political analysts have strongly disagreed with a lawmaker who proposed that President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar be given another five years.

In an interview with City Review Daily Newspaper, lawmaker, David De Dau argued that the extension will give ample time for the duo to prepare the country for democratic elections.

However, the proposal has received mixed public reactions.

Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspapers on Thursday, Edmund Yakani the Executive Director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organization disagreed, saying it is a proposal of taking advantage of the situation for personal gain to destabilize the country.

“What miracles will these honorable members perform in proposing the five-year extension while they failed for the past five years without delivering any results,” he stated.

Yakani in his argument said the country must go for elections to set citizens free from dilemma.

“They have to go for elections whatever the situation is and they have not to reduce the side of the government; it is a proposal that is unacceptable that is not going to work,” he said.

“The current transitional government is not a full government; we need to elect a government that has a powerful position, the MPs have no political miracle to deliver the pending tasks, this is a failure,” the vocal activist opined.

Yakani who has withstood all situations by his neutrality, maintained that the current leadership lacks political will and commitment towards national service which triggers lack of trust and confidence among them.

“Even if we give them a hundred years, they will not deliver anything, they keep on dragging their feet,” he stated.

Another activist, the chairperson of Jonglei Civil Society Network and the executive director of Intrepid South Sudan (ISS), Bol Deng Bol said another extension of the traditional period is not acceptable.

According to Bol, the government should focus on the implementation of the prerequisites for smooth conduct of elections in December, this year.

“The revitalized government of National Unity should not be focusing on possible extension of the peace agreement at this moment because…its lifespan has so far been extended severally and it makes no sense repeating the same thing under similar circumstances,” read the statement.

He said the drawbacks in the implementation of the peace agreement had been a lack of political will, insufficient funding, subnational violence, and lack of civic and political space.

Bol said the government should solve these problems instead of transferring them into five more years.

“Extending the period of the transitional government, therefore, risks transporting these setbacks for five more years. That’s unbearable,” he said.

“Government should amicably and sufficiently address these setbacks by having the right political will to see to it that the R-ARCSS concludes later this year with peaceful, fair, transparent, and credible elections. The unity government should discard controversial narratives and instead fix all the efforts in meeting election’s requisites as per the R-ARCSS.”

Meanwhile, James Boboya a political analyst in his argument said he has not seen any vision for extending more than five years for the leaders while people are suffering.

“Extending the leadership happens when among us there is no pandemic corruption, power sharing diverting public funding for private gains, lack of political will and civic space,” Boboya said.

The analyst said the extension of the term while the Country’s political and economic situation is not fixed is a mess and should not happen.

“Without the above mentioned from my perspective extension becomes meaningless,” he said.

The transitional period was extended by 24 months in August 2022 to give room for full implementation of the outstanding tasks in the R-ARCSS.

The roadmap stated that elections will be conducted in December 2024 and the transitional period will end in February 2025 as a new leadership takes the mantle to run the nation.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit has been quoted on several occasions as saying that he is tired of five vice presidents, a huge cabinet, and members of parliament which he said were straining resources that are supposed to be channeled towards development.

The National Elections Commission members are now sworn into office to commence the processes of preparations for elections but with no budget yet, and only about eleven months left.

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