National, News

Opposition parties demand adequate funding for electoral bodies

By William Madouk


Coalition of Opposition Parties (COOP) is calling on the government of national unity to expedite funding key electoral institutions for the conduct of democratic polls.

With only 10 months left until the first general election, Dr. Gai Chol Paul, the chairperson of COOP, said peace guarantors must pile pressure on the government to release funds for three key electoral institutions.

“We, the leaders of COOP, are calling for expedited funding for the key institutions responsible for free, fair, and credible elections in South Sudan,” said Paul on behalf of COOP.

“We request peace grantors to pressure the R-TGoNU to release funds for the National Election Commission, Political Parties Council, and National Constitution Review Commission to enable these institutions to execute their mandates without delay,” he added.

The COOP is a group of non-signatories to the revitalized peace agreement that brought about national unity.

He advised the peace grantors to facilitate an inclusive dialogue among stakeholders to form a caretaker government if elections were not possible in December 2024.

“This dialogue should focus on forming a caretaker government led by technocrats, including members selected from civil society, professional associations, and academia,” he noted.

According to him, the caretaker government will work towards creating a conducive environment for future elections that would see the nation transiting power through democratic exercise.

Mr. Paul stressed that COOP is committed to working towards a peaceful and democratic South Sudan with power derived and exercised by the people.

“Hence, we call upon all the parties involved to prioritize the funding of the above institutions so that they can organize just and transparent elections as provided by the Roadmap.”

COOP also rejected any notion of extension by the transitional government, citing that any extension is ‘unacceptable’.

“We reiterate that we are ready for elections. Therefore, any attempt for another extension of the transitional period is unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Abednego Akok, the chairperson for the National Election Commission, said during the reception ceremony that the elections will take place in December as per the peace agreement.

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

He emphasized that the government has the responsibility to provide the necessary resources for the election process, stating that if the government is serious about conducting the elections, it must provide the funding.

Mr. Abednego explained that the election process has three stages: civic education, voter registration, and voting.


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