National, News

Yakani applauds NEC for financial transparence

By Charles K Mark


Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO has commended National Electoral Commission (NEC) for its transparency on funds for electoral process.

CEPO’s Executive Director, Edmond Yakani said that transparency is a pillar of accountability.

He however, called for a speedy process in disbursing the funds while creating a conducive environment for the upcoming elections.

“It is a major pillar to accountability,” he said.

He also urged the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) to approve funds for other election-related bodies, namely the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), and the National Elections Security Committee (NESC), as stated in the agreement.

Expressing concern over selective or discriminatory funding of electoral processes, Yakani stressed the need for fairness and equal support.

He revealed that CEPO would release its third pre-election domestic observation report the following week, which will provide detailed insights into the country’s preparations for the December 2024 elections.

On Tuesday, the NEC confirmed that it had received SSP22 billion (approximately $14 million) from the cabinet.

The commission announced that this amount would be sufficient to commence preparations and the voter registration process scheduled for June.

However, NEC initially submitted a gross budget of SSP253 billion (equivalent to $230 million), which is currently awaiting approval by the TNLA after being passed by the cabinet.

CEPO’s recognition of NEC’s transparency signifies the importance of open and accountable processes in ensuring a fair electoral system.

Meanwhile, the Coalition of Opposition Parties (COOP) has dismissed the NEC assertion that it received election funds to facilitate the electoral process.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Dr. Gai Chol Paul, the chairman of COOP, labelled the claim as propaganda aimed at deflecting pressure from the international community.

The United States, Norway, and the United Kingdom have consistently urged the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) to ensure the transparent use of public funds.

According to the coalition, this persistent call is intended to hold accountable those who undermine the democratic process in South Sudan.

Dr. Chol emphasized that the parliament still needs to initiate a debate on the election budget and cautioned against speculating about funds without a clear source, deeming it as falsehood and deception.

“Any speculation of funds without a clear source is a lie and deception,” he said.

He further labeled the country as bankrupt, emphasizing that this status has made the lives of citizens miserable.

The chairman expressed limited optimism regarding the country’s ability to hold the anticipated elections by December 2024.

He pointed to inter-communal violence and the presence of numerous militia groups without a central command as significant threats to conducting elections.

Dr. Chol warned that the absence of a clear legal framework for elections and mechanisms to resolve election disputes makes it highly improbable for South Sudan to hold elections in 2024.



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