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South Sudan: 18 opposition parties consider forming single political party

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October 13, 2011 (JUBA) - Leaders from at least 18 opposition parties in newly independent South Sudan are considering forming a single opposition political party capable of challenging the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), an opposition leader said Thursday.

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Representatives of five South Sudanese opposition parties address reporters (FILE-Sudan Votes website/ Boboya Simon Wudu)

Tong Lual Ayat, the chairman of the United Democratic Party (UDP) said in an interview with Sudan Tribune that consultations to form single party have already begun.

"We are looking at objectives and driving principles of each political party”, he said. Ayat says the parties believe having one strong political party capable challenging the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) is the only way to meet the interests of the people of South Sudan.

“Yes South Sudan is a multiparty state but we need to have at least effective political parties," said the opposition leader. South Sudan has around 23 registered political parties but none are able to compete with SPLM, the former rebels who have governed South Sudan as an autonomous region since a 2005 peace deal.

As part of the deal South Sudan voted to become independent in January and seceded in July.

“Many of these political parties do not have stand-out or clearly defined manifestos and actually others are just using ‘cut-and-paste’ documents or carbon copies of other manifestos. They do not have clear objectives. Some are parties formed out of the main parties because of internal political differences”, he said.

The opposition leader who accused the ruling party of undermining his party, said “when the multiparty democracy develops the conflicts between parties or their members will cease and political organisation will be addressing national agendas not highlighting their differences”.

He made the statement ahead of a forthcoming consultative meeting of political parties while pointing out that it was high time for the members of political organisations to set clear objectives.

Onyoti Adigo, the leader of South Sudan’s largest opposition party - the SPLM for Democratic Change - in the South Sudan’s national Assembly said his party had already entered into an alliance with 18 political parties but have not yet reached a consensus to forming one political party.

“We are already a strong party”, Adigo told Sudan Tribune on Thursday.

“We have an alliance with other political parties but we welcome merging parties if the leaders agree on the objectives and principles”, he said.

Adigo further said political parties act had not yet passed through parliament but that it was the prerogative of opposition parties to hold such consultations and developing strategies that were beneficial to the nation building.

On the eve of South Sudan’s independence the Adigo was badly beaten by security services.

Kuol Agany Deng, a member of the SPLM agreed that there was no need to have so many political parties in the country. He describing some of them as “briefcase parties”, which had never won a seat in parliament.

"We have seen many south Sudanese politician forming parties in Khartoum and we have seen them wining elections in their constituencies. There are parties without members”, he said.

Deng claimed that only the SPLM had a national agenda and programs aimed at developing the new nation.

“Many political parties do not have members; they just have activists and operate by mobilising masses other than addressing national issues. This is why I believe that many of the political parties will die natural deaths because multiparty is not just a race that starts with many runners but programs.”

In late 2010 ahead of January’s referendum on independence, an all party political conference was held in Juba to unite South Sudan ahead of the vote, which saw an overwhelming vote in favour of partition.

However the process of writing South Sudan’s interim constitution has proved divisive with many opposition parties pulling out of the process, accusing the SPLM of not listening to their views.

Earlier this month the leader of SPLM-DC returned to Juba after self imposed exile, with South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, asking the security services not interfere with the opposition party.

During elections in April last year SPLM-DC complained of intimidation and malpractice. The SPLM one the election with an overwhelming majority. Corruption in South Sudan, which is dominated by the SPLM is a major problem according to the party’s chairman, president Salva Kiir.

(ST)

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  • 14 October 2011 08:42, by Mzalendo Mwema

    To:All Oppositions
    You are all welcome but Dr.Lam must not be the leader of coalition.We want multiparty nation.Dr.Lam is welcome to be a member but no day that he will leader because ’enough is enough’.We do not want bloodshed on our beautiful Nation.The problem with most of the opposition parties is creating division or preaching hatred among Southerners rather than working for national goals.

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    • 14 October 2011 10:55, by GAAT..KA..KUOTH

      Being multiparty state is good in terms of development only when the state is democrat. However once the parties are so many, they lost meaning and just cause unnecessary complains and even lost the objectives and political roles.

      It is for sure a wise decision to make..An that is a clear sign that we are gradually growing politically.

      Gat.ka.kuoth.

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      • 14 October 2011 13:26

        Any political party needs its leaders to be diverse in order to win any election in all corners of South Sudan. If you have a party that’s made up of Dinka or members of Equatoria region only, you cannot win in the areas that are predominantly Dinka, Equatorian, Nuer or any other tribe in that particular region and that means, you cannot be taken seriously.

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    • 14 October 2011 12:58, by mafitabu

      I will join you,but if DR LAM is with you, I vow I will not do that mistake.Snake is better than DR LAM.

      Very good new from those 18 parties.keep on elders.

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    • 14 October 2011 13:15

      Two parties system is the best,form the single part you opposition wants form it,but let not Lam Akol decive all of you to be a leader

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    • 14 October 2011 15:56

      That is good move South Sudan parties but please never forget one peace is important to our society.

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  • 14 October 2011 09:16, by Mathem Jech Amer

    This is a good development. I am an SPLM member but I support what other political parties decided to do.

    Too many political parties is a mess, we need only about five parties in south Sudan. It is a waste of resources and money as well to have so many parties in a new nation.

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  • 14 October 2011 10:17

    Mr Ayat .you had come up with the brililiant idea which will be fully support by south sudanese and if you could not implement the idea ,then you will not challenge the ruling party .everyone can acknowledge a work done by splm/A in the past, but it afflilation with military, resulted into intimidations of political parties and individuals who have a questionable loyalty to splm party.
    Alier42

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    • 14 October 2011 15:47, by mon_mandhal1

      Dr.Lam Akol again,there is no doubt that Lam is one responsibl for forming singl political party.This man has been trying his best to rule the cuntry of he contributed to its ruin in 1991-200.

      He was the artist of Nassir faction which cailmed the most of lives .Now he is coming up with other mess.

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  • 14 October 2011 10:20, by alpha

    Too many political parties but no vision and mission on how to unite the people of the Republic of South Sudan

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  • 14 October 2011 11:02

    This will be crucial step toward real political accountability if this move is going to come to fruition. What I know this message was meant for domestic media consumption and have no substance. All opposition parties in south sudan lack credibility and have no appeal to voters. Demolishing all these fake parties and forming one single viable opposition party is what is needed now.

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  • 14 October 2011 11:31, by Gabriel KK

    This is a brilliant choice but I do’nt think whether you will unite as one party, if not than don’nt waste your time and money for fruitless meeting. I like the idea but you will not make it.God bless our Country.

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  • 14 October 2011 11:55, by Gunkills

    That is a good idea made by Sons&daughters of ROSS. We citizens of ROSS, we need 2or3 parties in this BEAUTIFUL Nation with a effective interest of the citizens. We don’t want a political party which is always behind tribal clashes or in enemy side. Every party in ROSS must understand the country interest first like the way SPLM do.

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    • 14 October 2011 13:44

      @ Gunkill

      you had really define your name,and i am totally convine that ,a killer supporting killers, is not a new phenomenon.
      Alier42.

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    • 14 October 2011 16:11, by BOTH NGUOT

      congratulation
      i was really exciting when i read this article yesterday. this is a very good decision made by 18 political parties to make a one party system because too many parties with no clear objectives is baseless.
      keep on with this planning and never fail.

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  • 14 October 2011 12:57, by Wen Tek

    Dear South Sudanese,
    Merging political parties is not a solution to good governance in South Sudan.The best thing these parties should do is to call for a national conference in which issues related to democracy,corruption,ethnic tensions and hikes in food and fuel prices are collectively analysed and lasting solutions devised.

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    • 14 October 2011 14:02, by Wacjak

      Good and terrific idea. However, I don’t think it will be implemented because of power hungry men in those political forces. I doubt if they will not bring Lam Akol again as they did in April’s election. If they do so, it is useless to affiliate to that party. Mind you that, your choice of your leader in this new party matters to the public.

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    • 14 October 2011 19:15

      By Kon Paul Awenchol.
      Dear South Sudanese if you do that then you are going in right channel,18 political parties to form single party from 23 existing parties in South Sudan will be a big task,but one thing if you bring Lam Akol as a leader of this single party we the community of South Sudan will not recognize this party.development is the law of life, and a man who always

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  • 14 October 2011 15:54, by Makuen Cinhomwan

    Iam very happy with the wise decission being brought up by 18 political parties.Nothing like unity if you are united you can overcome the mountains and rivers. formation of one political party will help improve strong political will here in South Sudan and ease crisis.But the only challege that will face you a head is the joining of everyone of which most of you are very greedy to joint one part

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  • 14 October 2011 16:56, by Mr. Fact

    This is a good idea for political, social and economic development in South Sudan, Let me tell you there are many people who are not comfortable in SPLM, but because the opposition are not united into one party they have no option but to be in SPLM for food.
    If you all form one party I assure you there will be enough power to tackle corruptions by the SPLM
    I like this idea

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  • 14 October 2011 22:15, by JULIUS GHAI

    HI TO
    OPPOSITION PARTY\PARTIES SERVE AS A ALTERNATIVE GOVERNMENT SHOULD ANYTHING HAPPEN TO RULING PARTY SO ALL THOSE PARTIES WHO WANT TO UNITE IN FORMING ONE STRONG OPPOSITION PARTY ARE HIGHLY WELCOME BUT REMEMBER WHY YOU FORM THAT PARTY.SPLM AS A PARTY NEED TO BE COUNTER-CHECKS TO EVALUATE ITS PERFORMANCES AND HAVING A PARTY THAT CAN POINT A FINGER ON SLPM IS THE ONLY WAY.HAPPY BIRTHDAY OPPOSITIN

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    • 15 October 2011 08:14, by Izee

      South Sudan should adopt a presidential primary system like in the US because it helps people in making the right choice of leadership. Besides you cannot dictate the party if they intend to chose Dr Lam as its leader, keep your emotions to yourself and wait for him in the ballot box.

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  • 15 October 2011 14:04, by mike

    The formation of new party that comprises with 18 political parties is highly welcome. But presents of DR.LAM AKOL will one day splite the party into several sections.
    I still have dougth on whether this party will be able to compete with SPLM in any democratical race otherwise they end up with virus they already have...

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  • 15 October 2011 20:38, by peacemaker south Sudan

    Dear all southerners,
    Allow me to take this opportunity , 23 political parties in a newly borned country is not Healthy at all ,
    are these tribes or parties?? where were these parties during the war between the south and the North?? 18 parties united against SPLM , Waw!!! fine ,try your luckness.

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  • 18 October 2011 15:24, by Bush man

    Leaders from 18 opposition parties joint up against people’s liberation movement. Why this time and not during those dark days when most of our politicians took refuge in foreign countries. Remember you can only harvest what sowed. SPLM should be allowed to cement the foundation of this country because, this is the only party who can stand up to NCP. 20 years maximum for SPLM to put things right.

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  • 18 April 2013 14:53, by dennishobson

    lA4LESJIiciBzQEU28Yyxt1YK0QHLZssanyong madeira plastica composite decking Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this website needs much more consideration. I’ll probably be again to read much more, thanks for that info.

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