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South Sudan election date set

By William Madouk

 

National Election Commission (NEC) has announced December 22, 2024 as the date for general elections in South Sudan.

According to the NEC Chairperson, Prof. Abednego Akok, section 16 (1) of the National Elections Act 2012 (amendment) 2013 gives the institution an authority to determine election timeline.

“Whenever an election is to be held, the commission shall determine and announce the date in accordance with the constitution and publish it in the official gazette or two newspapers,” Akok said.

In line with the 2018 peace deal, Prof. Akok stated that when six months are remaining, the election date must be declared and must be two months before the end of the transition period.

“Hence, this declaration come as a result of the meeting held this morning [Friday] by the commission and they unanimously agreed to announce the date of the elections as December 22nd, 2024,” he announced.

Prof Akok cited that during this period, the NEC would fulfil election necessities including carry out voter registration.

“This six-month, public is made aware that from now on the election will take place by this time, we will embark on voter registration and all the electoral procedures will take place until we reach December,” he noted.

Mr. Akok hinted that bout 80 per cent of South Sudanese are illiterate and most don’t have a national ID, however, he pledged this case would be sorted out in the registration processes.

“Eighty per cent (80%) of South Sudanese are illiterate and they don’t have these nationality IDs – the issuing of nationality ID may be in Malakal, Wau and in Juba but bulky population they don’t have them so they would depend on registration.”

NEC clarified that 18 years and above are eligible to vote, but throw the ball to the parties over South Sudanese who are in diaspora.

He boasted that NEC has done much in preparation “with the preparation I think we have done a lot now, there has been constant training for the commissioners.”

“We have gone to state and tomorrow all the state high commission members will arrive in Juba to train them before they go back.”

The boss of NEC explained that they would have announced the date on July 1 but one of the members passed away forcing a push ahead of the announcement date to allow proper mourning of his untimely death.

“We are technical people; we are to implement act as its – and if we don’t election date today then there will be a political loophole which we don’t want to be used by others against us,” NEC chairperson said.

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