National, News

SPLM dispels poll extension rumour

By Jurugo Emmanuel Ogasto


President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar have never agreed to postpone elections, SPLM said.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party has dismissed media report that the two leaders reached a consensus to extend the scheduled December 2024 elections.

In an urgent press conference convened on Friday, Daniel Badagbu Rambasa, the SPLM party spokesperson, clarified that elections will be held as planned.

He stressed that President Kiir and Dr. Machar did not strike any deal to postpone the elections, describing the reports as a rumor that’s meant to destabilize the public.

“We want to make it crystal clear that we have received this morning a media message circulating that the Chairman of the SPLM, Comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit, has struck a deal with Dr. Riek Machar to postpone the election,” he stated. “This is a rumor circulating on social media this morning, and this is confusing the public.”

“As SPLM, we are here to categorically denounce that rumor, to say H.E. Comrade Salva Kiir has not discussed any or struck any deal with the first vice president regarding the postponement of the elections,” he echoed.

He urged the general public not to be carried away by the propaganda report, adding that they should not be misled.

“The election will be in December 2024 without fail, and that is the date that has been scheduled for this election,” Badagbu reiterated.

“As the SPLM, we are party to the peace agreement, and together with our partners, if there is anything to do with passing information about the election, it will be done jointly with all the peace partners,” he clarified.

He emphasized that they are implementing peace in a spirit that is not going to jeopardize what is put in the peace pact.

According to the 2018 revitalized peace agreement, South Sudan is supposed to conduct elections in December this year, before the end of the extended transition period in February 2025.

However, some parties to the agreement insist that certain prerequisites need to be completed before the conduct of credible elections.

But Mr. Badagbu mentioned that the SPLM party is ready for elections at the end of the year, saying pushing the polls would be a violation of the peace agreement.

The SPLM party mouthpiece cautioned individuals against confusing the masses, adding that the elections would be held as scheduled.

“Election is a popular demand of the South Sudanese people because they need to elect their leaders, and as SPLM, we are committed to and also saying that we must go for elections,” Badagbu reiterated.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, but a civil war broke out two years before the country’s first ever planned democratic elections could take place in 2015.

The warring parties, led by Kiir and Machar, signed a peace deal in 2015 that collapsed a year later.

In September 2018, the two men signed a revitalized version of that agreement, with elections postponed several times.

The last extension of the transitional period was in August 2022, with elections scheduled for December this year.

But the parties have agreed to implement key benchmarks for elections set forth in the revitalized peace agreement.

The international community, as well as opposition parties such as SPLM-IO, have previously warned that elections with unimplemented peace tasks would return the country to war.

The online story purported that a senior official from the main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) had disclosed that Dr. Riek Machar Teny, had come to a consensus with President Salva Kiir Mayardit to postpone the December polls.

It was further alleged that the senior official said the two leaders would form a team of experts to work on tailoring down the terms of the agreement, including the timeframe for elections and other issues of concern.


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