National, News

Massive defection to SPLM as polls approach

By William Madouk


Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party continuous to bulge with defectors from opposition parties, as months of political tournament approach.

In a recent wave of game shifting, about 94 members of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), People’s Alliance Movement (PAM) and Kitgwang, have joined SPLM ranks.

Uncertainties shrouding life expectance of other political parties in the country for the expanse of a glittering SPLM seems to be a driving factor for the defections.

As poll-clock tickles and only nine months remaining to the anticipated general elections due December, this year, nobody wants to be left in limbo.

An MP and ex-deputy governor of Lakes state, Poth Madit Dut and a former leader of PAM, Chuot Makur Chuot, are among top clots of new entrants to the SPLM party.

Others include national and state MPs, ministers as well as senior members holding higher portfolios in the relevant political parties they abandoned.

Dr. John Sebit Madit, an MP and former SPLM-IO member, read their resignation letter and declared their readiness to join Salva Kiir’s camp.

Citing several reasons, Sebit expressed disappointment and frustration under Dr. Riek’s leadership.

“The SPLM-IO has failed to fulfil the promises contained in its basic documents that it used to lure the people of South Sudan away from their mother party – the SPLM,” said Sebit in a statement address SPLM party chair.

Noting lack of national agenda, under Machar’s, the defectors accuse the party leaders of selfish interest and using tactical means to accommodate relatives in lucrative positions.

“Our decision to resign from the SPLM-IO under Dr. Riek Machar Teny and to come back to the SPLM under your wise and visionary leadership came as a result of so many unfortunate happenings,” Sebit read in the defection petition.

They added that the only hope for South Sudanese is to renew their political contact with leaders via elections, a move they claim Machar rejected to continue remaining in power through avoidable extension.

“We cannot be part of a political organization that desires to hold this country hostage and only imposes its rule on the people of South Sudan through unnecessary extensions,” they noted.

Welcoming the new members, the second deputy chairman of the SPLM party, Daniel Awet Akot said “You took the right decision, and the right decision must be supported.”

“So, the movement will support this declaration that you have made more than 92 members to join, and the rest will continue to follow,” he added.

According to Akot, this act demonstrated that the heroes and heroines who died during the liberation struggle did not die in vain.

He recalled a biblical history of how Moses rescued Israelites from slavery in Egypt, until Joshua followed suit when the prophet Moses died, to Akot, Moses represented Dr. John and Joshua is Kiir.

Peter Lam Both – the SPLM party’s Secretary-General said, “My comrades who went to SPLM-IO for the numbers of the reasons you have cited I want to know that your party has welcomed you back wholeheartedly.”

According to him, a fascinating part was that defectors held big positions in their respective outfits but after they realized that they had veered off the path – they decided to join back SPLM in their own accord.

“No one in this party has put pressure on you to leave it is only on your own conscious decision that you have decided to come back and that really excite me,” SG Both noted.

Furthermore, Cde Mary Apayi, the deputy secretary general for finance, told the new members that the ruling, SPLM party is a political party that has not stopped destinations.

“The souls of our martyrs have brought you back to the mother party, the SPLM,” said Apayi.

“Because they have been asking, where are you? and today you have answered them – we are here and we’re one family again to continue the journey,” she added.

To Apayi, this move now puts the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in the right position to win the elections.

Santo Malek Anai, the SPLM Secretary for Political Affairs and Mobilization welcomed the new members and concurred with Both that he did not influence the defectors’ decision in any way.

“I did not work for these groups to come back to the SPLM, it is their voluntary political decision to come back to their mother party,” he stated.

He warned that this defection should not be construed as anti-peace, adding that “this is a democratic right, and it is the right decision to take it in this particular time while we’re moving toward general elections.”



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