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NEC begins staff training on voter registration

By Bida Elly David

 

National Election Commission (NEC) has launched voter registration training for the task force in Juba.

The training, in collaboration with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), aims to prepare officials for the voter registration process.

It also seeks to empower the commission to plan polling locations, staffing, and resource allocation based on the voter registry.

Additionally, the training was intended to raise public awareness about the significance of the democratic process and the importance of citizen participation.

Speaking to the No.1 Citizen Daily, NEC Chairperson Prof. Abednego Akok emphasized that elections are a democratic exercise that allows citizens to choose their leaders based on merit.

Akok explained that the current training is a preliminary exercise, with the official training to commence once the political parties’ signatories to the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement reach a consensus on the electoral process.

“We are waiting for the opinion from the political parties who signed the Revitalized Peace Agreement 2018. The Voters’ training Memo has been presented to them, but not yet passed,” Akok said.

He stressed that training staff on the voter registration process is important as it equips them with the necessary skills and competencies to carry out their duties efficiently.

Akok also emphasized that citizen participation through voting is crucial, as it ensures the government derives its legitimacy from the people.

“This training afterwards will give the staff skills to be hired and do the job efficiently; when they acquire it they will be motivated that is why training them is very important,’’ he said.

Regarding the possibility of conducting elections in December, Akok stated that the timeline is contingent on the agreement reached by the parties to the peace deal.

He acknowledged that the NEC has no definitive information on whether the parties will reach a consensus.

“When the parties to the agreement agree on the fate of elections, then we shall start complete training of the staff and then registration will start,’’ he said.

Akok noted that while a census would be ideal, South Sudan will proceed with the elections using the 2011 population statistics, with the hope of conducting a census in the future.

 

 

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