CEPO urges MPs to prioritize elections

Kidega Livingstone


National Members of Parliament have been urged to tackle the issue of elections seriously following interference in civic and political space since January, this year.

CEPO said it has recorded a minimum of nine cases of such interference.

In its finding, CEPO stated that the cases mostly involved members of the SPLM and SPLM-IO parties at the state level.

Speaking on the Miraya Breakfasts talk show on Monday, the Executive Director of CEPO, Edmund Yakani, called on the Transitional National Legislative Assembly to deliberate on these issues as it begins sessions in the coming week.

“The parliamentarians have to take the agenda of the elections seriously on three fronts: national funding, open political civic space, electoral security, and then creating a conducive environment for the conduct of elections in relation to the prerequisites of the agreement,” he said during the breakfast show.

“Some political parties believe open civic and political space is only intended for them to have the rights of political campaigning without others having the same space,” he added.

CEPO’s report highlights that there is also an increase in surveillance of institutions and individuals and interference of assemblies and associations of groups by law enforcement agents across the country.

Another key finding is the conflicting interpretation of what is meant by civic and political space by some parties.

Last week, President Salva Kiir promised that there would be no further extension of the transitional government, saying there must be elections in December 2024.

Addressing the parliamentarians after a four-month recess, Kiir said it was already agreed in the 2022 peace roadmap that there would be elections, insisting it should happen.

Despite the President’s push for elections, there is a political robe being pulled by the ruling party SPLM and its main opposition, SPLM-IO, on the December polls as Riek Machar demands complete implementation of all the provisions of the agreement for free and fair election conduct.

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