By William Madouk
South Sudan has officially declared commencement of registration of political parties wanting to compete in the forthcoming general elections.
Chairperson of Political Parties Council, James Akol Zakayo made the declaration on Tuesday.
“I, James Akol Zakayo, the chairperson of the Political Parties Council, do hereby announce the provisional and full registration of unregistered political parties in the country,” Akol announced.
He said the exercise has no dateline but emphasized that parties that would like to compete must be registered 180 days before the actual date of the elections.
Akol, also charted key requirements for political parties, adding that their members must be two-thirds for all ten states and three administrative areas.
“Each party that aspires to register must draw its members from two-thirds of ten states and three administrative areas, so we need to make sure that your members are not from one state. You need to have representation in all ten states, and your party must reflect the citizens of South Sudan,” he noted.
“It shouldn’t be a tribal party; it must be a party that captures all tribes in South Sudan,” he stressed.
Mr. Zakayo noted that they would visit the states and administrative areas to verify if the party indeed has members on the ground.
He urged the parties to comply with the legal conditions for operating and competing in the coming election.
Currently, there are 14 registered political parties in the country, but according to the political parties’ council, they need to re-register as per what the laws say.
According to the Council, in the registration process, there are at least 27 forms that must be filled out by the party.
For his part, the deputy chairperson of the Political Party Council, Dr. Lona James Elia, called on the parties to visit their office adjacent to South Sudan Bank from the morning hours until 5:00 PM for the registration checklist.
“As the council, we are grateful that we are able to announce this today, and we encourage all political parties outside there to visit our office,” said Elia.
“In case of any additional information on how the registration is going to be done, you will be given directives,” she added.
South Sudan is set to go to polls in December 2024 to finish the transitional process and ensure the country is steered by a democratically elected government.
President Kiir has on various occasions reiterated his commitment to seeing an end to the cyclic transitional governments formed based on peace deal negotiations.