National, News

SPLM-IO demands revised registration fees

By Kidega Livingstone


South Sudan’s main opposition camp, Sudan’s People Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), has added its voice to object to the high registration fees imposed on parties by the political parties’ council.

The Political Parties Council imposed the registration fees for the political parties’ registration at fifty thousand United States dollars (USD 50,000) and fifty thousand South Sudanese pounds (50,000 SSP) for each political party seeking to register.

The Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Pal Mai Deng, who is a member of the SPLM-IO, expressed his party’s dismay over the exorbitant charges during an event for the reception of David Yau Yau, who defected to their SPLM-IO camp.

“The issue of expensive registration of political parties, which is also asked, is that it’s very clear that you cannot be recognized as a political party because of the size of your pocket. If you have a very good pocket with some dollars in it, then you are qualified to be a political party,” he said.

He added that this is a constraint on democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and also a constraint on plural democracy with multiple parties.

“So, the registration of political parties should not be made as expensive; we are saying fifty thousand South Sudanese pounds and fifty thousand United States dollars to be paid for the registration of political parties is expensive, and it has to be reduced to the minimum level that can be afforded by any political party, irrespective of the size of its pocket,” he stated.

For her part, SPLM-IO Party Secretary General Regina Joseph Kaba also questioned the motive behind the exorbitant 50,000 USD charge for the registration of political parties.

“This registration is aimed at what? Is it fundraising for the political parties’ council because it is mandated to regulate the political parties but not put a big fee on South Sudanese?” she complained.

“We are South Sudanese; we have been talking about the economic crisis. Now the political parties’ council has put the fees in United States dollars, and they cannot recognize South Sudanese pounds,” she continued.

“The political party council needs to revise its regulations; they should work around their mandate,” Mrs. Regina urged.

Last week, the Coalition of Political Parties submitted a petition rejecting an excessive $50,000 fee for a provisional registration license imposed by the Political Parties Council (PPC).

The parties comprised South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), and Coalition of Opposition Parties (COOP), among others said steep fees were an attack on democracy and intended to silence opposition voices in upcoming elections.

Dr. Chol Gai Paul, the chairman of People`s United Front and a member of the COOP, said the group strongly rejects the registration fees, stressing that the fees have no legal basis.

“We, the leaders of political parties seeking to register with the Political Parties Council (PPC) in South Sudan, are writing to express our strong rejection of the recent fee increase for provisional registration,” told journalists.

“We are deeply concerned about the sudden and significant rise from SSP 20,000 to USD 50,000 for a provisional license imposed by the current leadership of the PPC,” he added.

According to them, this excessive fee has no legal basis and is ‘in direct contradiction to the principles of democracy and fair political participation.’

Mr. Gai said Art. 7 (7) of the Political Parties Act 2012 (amended 2022) stipulates that: “The Council shall conduct open registration of political parties by regulations issued herein.”

Also, Art. 8 (3) of the same Act states that “A political party registered by this Act shall pay in respect of the registration such fees, which shall not be refundable, as the Council may by regulations determine.”


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