January 16, 2010 (JUBA) – The Sudan’s National Elections Commission (NEC) has sent a warning letter to the semi-autonomous Southern Sudan President and the region’s presidential candidate, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, to relinquish his military post in order to qualify to run for the upcoming April 2010 elections.
- FVP Salva Kiir Mayadrit (photo by S. Ove Korneliussen)
The Electoral Law requires that all aspirants who serve in the military, civil service or are judges and want to contest for political positions in the elections should first resign from such jobs.
The SPLM Political Bureau on Friday formally nominated the incumbent chairman, Salva Kiir, without any challenger, as the candidate for the Southern Sudan presidency position.
The warning by NEC came immediately after the nomination of General Kiir who is also the interim First Vice President of the Republic of Sudan.
The Chairman of the Registration Committee in the National Elections Commission, Mukhtar Al Asam, said the Commission had already sent a written letter to the Southern Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, explaining that he cannot be eligible to run for the elections while still holding his military position.
Speaking during a radio program on Friday, Al Asam said that the rule applies to all military personnel without any exception.
Kiir is currently an active army General in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and heads the recently formed military Command Council, composed of more than 40 senior SPLA officers, and he is also the Commander-in-Chief of the army by the virtue of being the President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS).
Earlier, the Presidential Affairs minister Dr. Luka Biong Deng who is a close aide to Southern Sudan president ruled out any possibility of General Kiir stepping down from the army after nomination.
However, the Deputy Secretary General of the SPLM and the party’s newly nominated presidential candidate at the national level, Yassir Arman, revealed on Saturday that the SPLM had already formed committees to study all the legal and procedural disputes of the elections.
In another related development, the SPLM Secretary General, Pagan Amum, said the movement’s Political Bureau also discussed the possibility of forming alliances with some parties in Northern and Southern Sudan for the upcoming elections.
Speaking during a press conference in Juba on Friday, Amum also pointed out that the SPLM Political Bureau would soon announce the party’s candidates running for the executive and legislative posts across the country.
NEC has set January 22, as the deadline for receiving the names of selected candidates.
The Commission will directly receive the name of the SPLM candidate for the post of the President of the Republic while the candidate for Southern Sudan president will first pass through the Southern Sudan High Elections Committee in Juba before submitting it to the NEC headquarters in Khartoum.
NEC is a national legal body established by law in 2008 in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the Interim Constitution of Sudan, 2005.
It is charged with the responsibility to process and oversee the conduct of the post-war general elections during the interim period and has established branches at Southern Sudan and states levels.