National, News

Parties opting for legal redress over “exorbitant” fees

By Philip Buda Ladu


At least 14 political parties have given Political Parties Council (PPC), 7-day ultimatum to reduce the $50,000 provisional registration fees or face a lawsuit in East African Court.

A team led by Dr. Gai Chol Paul disclosed their stance in a letter of “intent to sue” dated Thursday, April 25, 2024.

The letter seen by No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, is addressed to minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Justice Ruben Madol Arol, and copied to the PPC.

“This letter of “intent to sue” shall serve as a formal notice that Dr. Gai Chol Paul and other 13 political party leaders intend to commence a lawsuit against the South Sudan Political Parties Council,” the letter written by a law firm partly read.

Gabriel Kuot Akok Deng, an advocate and legal consultant, who represents the complainants, wrote the letter informing the government body, of his clients’ intention to commence a lawsuit at the East African Court after a week.

The dissatisfied political leaders’ grievances were highlighted in the letter.

In early March 2024, the Political Parties Council issued a decision charging any political party seeking registration to pay USD 50,000 for the provisional license, which lasts for 6 months only, and USD 25,000 as the full registration license fee, making the total amount of USD 75,000.

On March 25, 2024, 14 political parties aspiring for registration delivered a petition to the PPC rejecting the exorbitant fees imposed by the council for the registration of political parties.

According to the advocate, the aforementioned parties didn’t get a response to date, and the registration deadline is approaching as the country prepares for the upcoming general elections in December.

The legal consultant said the lack of positive response from PPC leaves his clients with no options other than to seek justice before the competent court of applicable jurisdiction.

He challenged the registration regulation as an unreasonable, illegal, unilateral, and discriminatory decision being made by the Political Parties Council by overcharging the opposition parties, an act that amounts to a violation of the right to form a political party.

Advocate Akok echoed that imposing the excess registration fees is a way of denying the opposition politicians their God-given human rights.

He further argued that political parties are not profit-making organizations that are formed to represent the interests of their members, promote the principles of democracy and the rule of law, and equally participate in the political process.

“The regulation that charges the political party leaders to pay these fees in the form of hard currency is also a violation of government financial policy, which permits all transactions to be made in local currency,” he further argued.

Advocate Akok now puts the government’s Attorney General on notice as he pushes forward towards a legal battle to fight for the rights of his clients.

“We would like to inform you about our intent to institute a reference before the East African Court of Justice seeking the cancellation and confirmation of the previous 20,000 South Sudan Pounds as the full registration license fee,” he stated.

The legal counsel stressed that due to the above-mentioned unreasonable and politically motivated decision of the PPC, they will file a suit against the Government of South Sudan if they do not review the said decision within 7 days of receiving this letter.

Gabriel Kuot Akok Deng, an advocate and legal consultant firm, further disclosed that they have enclosed a copy of their petition to the PPC with their “letter of intent” to the respective offices.

However, the chairperson of the Political Parties Council, James Akol Zakayo, earlier disclosed that some parties had failed to meet the registration requirement, including the $50,000 fees.


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