National, News

NULLIFIED:Minister objects exorbitant parties’ registration fees

By Bida Elly David


Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Ruben Madol, has nullified the high fees for registration of political parties aiming to partake in the December polls.

In a statement seen by No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on Monday, responding to complaints from political parties over the charges, the minister said the exorbitant fee is not in line with the agreement and the acts that are yet to be amended.

“The decision in question is null and void as it was based on regulations under amendment and not signed into regulations as required under Section 18(e) of the Political Parties Act 2012 as amended. Justice Ruben was dismissed.

He noted that the said decision would have been based on political parties’ council regulations from 2015 and no other wise, as the law does not apply.

In his stand, Minister Ruben said the legal authorities rely on the transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan (2011) as amended, the political parties’ act (2012) as amended, the Bank of South Sudan Act (2011 and finally the political party regulations of 2015.

Political parties in Juba recently protested high registration charges imposed on by Political Party Council (PPC) and they laid a strategy to take legal action.

However, minister Madol, responded to the complaints from political parties, acknowledging receipt of their legal letter of intention to sue political party council.

“The legal opinion relates to a notice of intention to sue the political party council brought to our attention by advocate Gabriel Kuot Akok Deng on April 25, 2024, on behalf of Dr. Gai Chol Paul and 13 political party leaders, challenging the legality of the decision of the chairperson of the political party council imposing an amount of $75,000 as provisional registration and license fees,’’ Ruben stated.

He said the political parties had initially requested justice ministry’s intervention into the matter as things went out of hand.

“The party requested the ministry of justice and constitutional affairs to intervene by rendering an appropriate legal opinion on the matter,’’ the statement states.

Ruben noted that on May 15th of this year, the director of civil litigation and legal opinion in the Ministry of Justice rendered him clear recommendations about the matter, which he conquered.

According to the complaint letter as cited by the minister, 14 political parties aspiring for registration on March 25, 2024, wrote to the head of the political parties’ council, rejecting the $75,000 fees for both registration and license.

“The political parties’ council has not responded to the said petition to date, despite the fact that the registration deadline is approaching as the country prepares for the upcoming elections in December 2024,” Minister Ruben noted.

Meanwhile, according to the Minister, the regulation that charges the political party leaders with fees in the form of hard currency is also a violation of the government’s financial policy, which permits all transactions to be made in local currency (SSP).

“The second issue is whether the decision is in compliance with the transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 as amended, the Political Parties Act, 2012 as amended, and the Bank of South Sudan Act 2012 or not,” he stated.

In their protest letter, political parties alleged that the regulation on which the PPC decision was based was unreasonable, illegal, unilateral, and discriminatory, and that the decision was intentionally made to overcharge the opposition parties.

They added that the act by the chair of the council was aimed at violating the rights to form a political party as required by the transitional constitution of South Sudan 2011 as amended.


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