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Parties reject SPLM-IO’s election extension

By Kidega Livingstone


Umbrella of Other Political Parties (OPP) and South Sudan African National Union Party have rejected two-year extension proposed by Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO).

OPP Chairman, Peter Mayen Majongdit argues that transitions in the entire world are never extended twice.

According to him, every transition is always limited to three years, allowing sufficient time for election preparations.

He threatened to drag any party working for the re-extension of the transitional period to the East Africa Community Court of Justice.

“There will be no further extension, and there must be a legitimate government elected by the people in place by December 2024; otherwise, the people of South Sudan are tired of transition after transition and they have democratic rights to elect,” Mayen told this outlet in a telephone interview yesterday.

“Anyone that will use their party to extend the agreement, the umbrella, is ready to take anyone that will remain in power by force at the expense of the people to the court of East Africa,” he threatened.

On Friday last week SPLM-IO maintained its position to oppose the conduct of elections in December without permanent constitutions.

Deputy Chairman of SPLM-IO and first deputy Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, Nathaniel Oyet Piereino stated that the Permanent Constitution is vital for providing a clear framework for the future.

He stated that the constitution is a must and should come before the election, as it was in the agreement, further suggesting 24 months to enact the constitution.

The Riek Machar SPLM-IO political camp had threatened to boycott the December polls if there was no consensus reached on the completion of the pending tasks of the agreement, which they pointed to as the top priority and required a lengthy time to enact.

But, Mayen emphatically stated that they, as signatories and parties to the agreement, reject any attempts to extend the December 2024 election schedule.

He emphasized that any political party in South Sudan that is genuinely prepared for elections should commence their preparations immediately for the upcoming electoral process.

“So, SPLM-IO is not ready for the election, and it has never run for election, including the Chairman, Dr. Riek, who has never run for election in his life, so if his party is not ready for the election, the parties that are ready, including my party, are ready to go for election,” he stressed.

South Sudan African National Union Party, Bol Toby Maduot, had earlier said the citizens want to elect the leaders of their choice, and there is no need for more extensions because people want the South Sudan that they deserve.

“If you want to go from location “A” to location “B, there is a need to start preparing earlier, and political parties still have enough time to get prepared for the coming election,” he stated. “I am sure the Electoral Commission will come with an election schedule where all of us will be able to participate in the election process.”

He said the issue related to permanent constitutions is timely, and that depends on the political parties, as it was agreed in the roadmap that this year, 2024, there will be elections.

“There are challenges in the country. I hoped after the elections that all this crisis and insecurity would not be there. We shall be looking at the development,” he said.

“We are ready for the election, and as a registered political party in the country, we shall fully participate in the election like any other party.”

Other opposition parties have also voiced their support for the conduct of elections at the end of the transitional period.

The latest one was the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), a signatory to the 2018 revitalized peace agreement, which expressed support for the country to go to polls in December, this year.

SSOA Chairperson, who is also the national minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Josephine Lagu Yanga, said in a meeting with President Salva Kiir Mayardit that they support timely conduct of the December 2024 elections.

She requested that the government speed up the implementation of the remaining prerequisites of the peace agreement.

According to SSOA, citizens are fed up with endless transitions and are yearning for elections to choose their leaders.

They added that polls are a primary requirement of the revitalized peace agreement, adding that failure to hold elections in itself is a violation.

“Let us dialogue to see together how the transitional period can be ended peacefully in the way it should. Our people have suffered enough, and they need a new beginning,” she noted.

In September last year, during a swearing-in ceremony of SPLM national office bearers, President Salva Kiir made it clear that the country would go for elections this year for him to shade off the bulky presidency.

He observed that South Sudan has a unique government with five Vice Presidents, something that doesn’t exist anywhere in the World.

“I have five vice presidents; there is no country that has five vice presidents,” the president said.

Exhausted of the bulky government of five vice presidents, President Kiir contemplated that conducting polls in December would end the transitional period.

“There are people who are saying that there are no elections; do you know if there is someone who is tired? That someone is me” the president stated.

Kiir refutes views that doubt conduct of election by next year.

“If it is my deputies who go and encourage people that there are no elections, I am telling you there is no extension of the government; we must move forward; there is nothing that lets us go back,” he added.

Additionally, early this month, President Salva Kiir also reassured the Holy See, through envoy, Cardinal Michael Czerny on his administration’s commitment to conduct free and credible elections this Year.

Holy Father reiterated his call on the leadership of South Sudan to embrace peace and stability as the country heads toward a democratic transition.


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