National, News

Presidency to determine fate of elections

By Philip Buda Ladu


The ball is now in the courts of the Presidency and other signatories to the R-ARCSS, to issue a final decision on whether the general elections scheduled for December 2024 will be held as planned.

This is after the High-Level Committee, tasked with reviewing the progress made in the implementation of the R-ARCSS roadmap, on Tuesday finalized and initiated a document outlining their findings, recommendations and possible way forward

The recommendations will now be “keenly examined” by the principals, who will ultimately decide on the fate of the 2024 elections and the broader implementation of the peace agreement.

Puot Kang Chol, the Minister of Petroleum and a member of the committee representing SPLM-IO, stated that they had completed their task and were going to submit their initialed document to the principals.

He said that it’s up to the Presidency to make the final decision, taking stock of the various parties’ positions on the way forward put on one page of the document as the December election deadline looms.

“We have finished our work today (Tuesday), and it will be up to the leadership to call for the meeting,” he stated.

“The document will be distributed to the principals today for them to look at it, and H.E., the president, will now be in a position to call for a meeting so that they can make the final decision,” Puot continued.

He added that once the Presidency makes the final decision, it will definitely be announced to the public. But it remains unclear when the meeting of the presidency will be convened.

The committee finished the review of the roadmap implementation status on Tuesday.

According to the committee, the document categorized the status into three parts: the completed tasks, where implementation of the article is complete; the in-progress or ongoing tasks that were started but not completed; and the pending tasks—the things that are not touched at all.

Mr. Puot emphasized that they have put those categories in place, and the document is now ready to be tabled before the principals for them to give the direction and the final way forward.

“We have initiated that document, and we have also put in place an explanatory note as to what we have completed its implementation, what is in progress, and what’s pending to make life easy for our principals to look into and make the decision that our people are waiting for,” he explained.

The minister added that they have also looked at the ways forward suggested by parties signatory to the 2018 revitalized agreement as their positions on how to end the transitional period, taking into account the challenges compounding the roadmap implementation.

“We have put those positions together in one paper for the attention of the leadership in order for them to give us the final way forward and the decision that the people of South Sudan are waiting for,” Puot reiterated.

Late last month, President Salva Kiir reiterated his stand on the conduct of elections, saying the absence of the exercise could generate violence in the country.

However, not to overlook the concerns of other political parties, the SPLM chairperson noted the initiation of an inter-party dialogue to decide the fate of polls.

He urged the high-level committee for the implementation of the revitalized agreement roadmap to spearhead the process, which has seemingly been a closed-door discussion that’s coming to an end.


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