National, News

Yakani continues Presidency tours on elections

By Charles K Mark


A prominent civil society activist is seemingly on a honeymoon tour of the key offices of the Reconstituted Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) as he meets the presidency and R-ARCSS principals, advocating for the December polls.

The Executive Director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), Edmond Yakani, met the first vice president, Dr. Riek Machar, on Monday, ten days after meeting President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

Yakani said he discussed with the chair of the governance cluster the country’s preparation for the looming December election.

“Among the issues we discussed was the unification of the forces. And we insisted on the fashion that it is necessary to unify the forces before the country goes for elections,” he said.

The vocal and viable activist seems to be convincing the top leaders, especially in a time when the country seems to have run short of reliable, bold, and brave civil advocates.

Yakani, who doubles as the president of the East African Civil Society Organizations Forum, is also pushing for the constitutional making process.

He and Machar reached a mutual understanding that a permanent constitution is a prerequisite for the conduct of the anticipated general and presidential elections.

“We feel the continuous renewal of the transitional process is not helping the country transition from violence to peace and development,” Yakani addressed.

On trust and civic confidence building, CEPO’s boss advised that an open civic and political space for political actors and civil society actors be ensured.

“If citizens cannot enjoy the freedom of association, assembly, and movement and the freedom of free speech and opinion, then citizens’ trust in and ownership of the elections become problematic,” he underscored.

Meeting President Salva Kiir and his first deputy, Riek Machar, seems not sufficient for the renowned activist who is trying to win the hearts of the R-TGoNU.

And Yakani is warming up to meet more of the remaining key principles of the revitalized peace agreement, focusing more importantly on the presidency.

“I will continue meeting the other vice presidents that I’ve never met and make sure that at least within a week I end up with all this discussion,” Yakani pledged.

During his meeting with the president, activist Yakani called on the presidency to prioritize funding the electoral bodies in a bid to ensure timely, free, and fair elections.

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