Political Parties Call For Peace Ahead Of 2015 General Election

Head of South Sudan’s largest opposition party, Sudan People's Liberation Movement - Democratic Change (SPLM-DC) DR Lam Akol at a past meeting. [Photo/ Atekdit Mawien]

The leaders have cited the ongoing South Sudan’s civil war as a great obstacle that cannot allow any transparent, democratic and fair elections.

A consultative meeting was organised last week by the South Sudan National Election Commission for the Political Parties Leadership Forum (PPLF) ahead of the general elections conduct scheduled in 6 months’ time.

South Sudan National Election Commission boss Professor Abednego Akolda Akolda revealed that the election calendar will be published in a month and added that no population census will be conducted as the 2010 elections constituencies will still be considered.

According to the South Sudan Election Act President Salva Kiir’s legitimacy and the parliaments’ life time will expire on July 9 unless the constitution is amended to extend legitimacy or elections conducted.

After the meeting, a press release signed by 15 political parties in the country including the largest opposition political party, SPLM-DC, demanded that peace must prevail in South Sudan before any elections are conducted.

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“Can a situation in which the bullets are hissing, vast territories of land are depopulated and potentialcandidates cannot cross tribal boundaries, for the ethnic nature the war has acquired, be conducive for democratic, peaceful and credible elections?,” the PPLF asked in the statement.

The political parties thought that the priority at the moment should have been to bring about a negotiated peaceful settlement that will establish a comprehensive peace all over the country followed by reconciliation and healing among the people.

“Any attempt to carry out partial elections is a recipe for the escalation of war as the other warring party will try its best to interrupt the elections while the government mobilises its resources to see the process through. Our experiences of partial elections in Sudan are still fresh in our minds and were not by any standard pleasant. We should not repeat obvious mistakes,” they added.

The statement added that South Sudan from now until July 9, 2015 has seven months to negotiate for peaceand bring up a government shared by the warring factions and the political parties before the current legitimacy runs out.

“Seven months are more than enough to reach a peaceful settlement if the stakeholders have the political will to make the compromises necessary to attain peace. What happens if the 2015 elections are not held is a matter for the politicians, not the Commission, to sort out,” the document said.

A legislator in the national parliament Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec of SPLM-DC accused the government and its political devotees of wanting to force for elections so that they can easily climb back their ladder of leadership with the elections that will not meet democratic standards.

Adigo ruled out that any move to conduct elections in South Sudan before bringing peace with the rebel movement is not in the people’s interests. 

He urged political parties to work towards amending the constitution and extend the current government legitimacy until peace is achieved to run the country’s first general elections.

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