National, News

Parties at odds over polls

Kidega Livingstone


As the deadline for elections approaches, political parties to the agreement continue to be divided on the matter, with some expressing dissatisfaction and considering a boycott.

With less than eight months remaining, concerns have arisen regarding the implementation of outstanding provisions outlined in the roadmap.

The National Democratic Movement (NDM) and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) have emphasized the need for dialogue and mediation to achieve consensus on the conduct of elections.

They argue that key elements of the revitalized agreement, such as constitutional matters, consensus-building, and unification policies, have not been adequately implemented within the agreed-upon timeframe.

The differing positions among the political parties highlight the complexities and challenges surrounding the electoral process.

As the timeline draws closer, the slated dialogue among the parties could offer a defining moment for the country.

Dr. Lam Akol, Chairman of the National Democratic Movement, has expressed concerns that holding elections without political dialogue would be unsafe due to a lack of trust between the principal parties.

“We are not ready for the election. The dialogue we are talking about is to discuss how to end the transition period and when, said Dr. Akol during the interparty dialogue organized by the South Sudan Civil Society Forum yesterday.

“Those who want to go for elections should tell us why, and those who don’t want should also tell us why; that will be the meaning of the dialogue we are seeking,” he added.

He said a political party cannot decide alone without other political parties to agree.

“A party cannot decide alone how the road map came about. Whatever we are going for in the election must be amended by the political parties to the agreement,” he argued.

The NDM party leader decried a shrinking civic political space.

“In Rumbek, the SPLM-IO is being chased, and in some parts of the country, the SPLM is also being chased, and the burning of the T-shirts. I think the elections will not be cradled if there is no dialogue among the political parties,” he lamented.

For her part, Minister of Interior Angelina Teny said SPLM-IO stands in its position for dialogue and mediation to discuss the way forward for the end of the transitional government.

The SPLM-IO has demanded a mediator to be involved in the parties’ election dialogue.

However, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In-Government (SPLM-IG) insisted on going for the election.

The ruling SPLM argued people could go for election without the implementation of the key outstanding provision in the agreement to end the transitional government that they described as “a large or bigger government,” which is very difficult to sustain in terms of resources and service delivery to the people.

“We are having six (6) presidencies, including President Salva Kiir. That one in my options is right, and we thought it would help. We have to go for elections to end the transition so that the government will be able to provide better service delivery to the people” SPLM-IG Secretary for External Affairs, Bol Makueng, speaking at the Interparty Dialogue forum.

“Going for elections is the right option so that we shall have the right leaders chosen by the citizens in place. The outstanding provisions in the agreement will not stop us from going for education,” he added.

He stressed that South Sudan will be supported by international bodies because it is a democratic nation saying nobody among the political parties is above the nation, adding this required confidence building by avoiding going back to war.


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