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South Sudanese students in Uganda elect new leader

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November 20, 211 (KAMPALA) – James Mayar Arieth was elected the head of the South Sudanese Students Union in Uganda (SSSUU) beating the five other candidates by one vote on Saturday. He promised to discover whether funds had been misused.

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Many students attended the electoral processes that last nearly ten hours at South Sudan Embassy in Kampala on Saturday Nov. 19, 2011 (ST)

Established in 2007, the SSSUU serves students’ interests in Uganda by advocating for their rights such as government grants and tuition fees. The students also say the union annual elections are laying a foundation for future peaceful democratic transfer of power from one leader to another in South Sudan.

The outgoing student leader, Abraham Thon Chagai, will formally hand over the office on 2 December.

Campaigning for the post began at 9:30am at the South Sudan embassy in Kampala and ran until 4:30pm with secret ballots voting beginning at 5:00pm. Thirty-six candidates had put themselves forward for the positions of SSSUU president and for three vice presidents. The president, who is the head of student body, can appoint only three advisers.

A Electoral Commission (EC) of seven students supervises the polls. Electorates are delegates from various universities and colleges in Uganda. This year, 133 delegates took part in the exercise. University’s sent five representatives, while colleges sent three.

Manok, the chairperson of the commission, declared elections results at about 9:20pm with James Mayar Arieth leading with 25 votes followed by David Malith Garang and Oneck Jacob Masimino with 24 votes each. Three leading candidates shared the remaining votes. Some ballots were said to be invalided for either multiple markings or non-markings.

Other highly contested posts included secretary for finance, for which the result declared showed two candidates scoring equals votes. A re-run will be made. Lam David Makuach was elected the secretary general. According to SSSUU constitution, the president, finance secretary and secretary general are the signatories to SSSUU financial accounts, which has became significant in this election amidst allegations of mismanagement of funds.

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James Mayar Arieth campaigned and won students’ poll with a narrow lead of one vote on Saturday November 19, 2011 (ST)

Debora Apat Garang became the first female speaker in the SSSUU parliament. She defeated two men in was what seen as a test for the male dominated union. Secretary for legal affairs and gender were the other positions taken by women.

The elected SSSUU leader, Mayar, said he will continue working in collaboration with South Sudan government in serving students interest in Uganda.

In his manifesto, Mayar said he would unearth the truth about the alleged misuse of $50,000 donated by President Salva Kiir to the students’ union in September. South Sudan roads and bridges minister Gier Chuang Aluong, also gave the students $10,000 on 5 November.

The outgoing SSSUU leader, Thon Chagai, denied funds had been misappropriated and promised to present a satisfactory report during the handover ceremony in two weeks times.

The elections are the fifth since the SSSUU was established. Thousands of students attended the electoral process as witnesses for the function that lasted nearly ten hours.

(ST)

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  • 21 November 2011 07:09, by Joseph Milla Simon

    Congrats James Mayar and the entire South Sudanese Students in Uganda.You have shown the Country one of a good example of democratic principles. Other Associations of similar nature should follow this example.I will be happy to hear you an unearth the lost dollars and hope it will not lead you into problem with the looters.

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  • 21 November 2011 07:20, by Bush

    This is a good practice, but there are thieves hiding in the embassy there in the name of serving students affairs while denying others there rights. They keep on running up and down between Juba and Kampala embezzling students funds, others got rich in just few months after finishing school and got such a so-called post in the ministry of education. They will be answerable one day God willing.

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    • 21 November 2011 07:32, by twins

      What’s wrong with the gorverment of Southern Sudan? This Student Union thing in Uganda looks like a seperate goverment to be since they (students in Kampla) receive a butgede from goverment. This is why goverment doesn’t even care of building a good schools in country. The money students in Kampla get should be used to build schools within country. Sham on ROSS for mismanaging resources.

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    • 21 November 2011 11:28, by omoni jr.

      @ bush,
      Do Not use this Term "God-willing.
      It is jihadist term... we southerners are a bid by law Not religion of God willing.

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      • 21 November 2011 17:32, by Bush

        @omoni jr.

        That was just a direct translation from my dialect. I didn’t mean the so-called jihadists slogan, Sir.

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  • 21 November 2011 08:37, by Alier42

    The voting was not free and fair, the process was dominated by bribery ,it shows that,a wrong element with hell of money stolen in Juba can simply influent the out come, which is very unfortune when it comes management.

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    • 21 November 2011 13:36, by Gunkills

      @Alier42
      Go and rebel against elected SSSUU leaders. In the article, they wrote, electoral observers are from various Universities in Uganda. Now why are you making nonsense complain? Keep quiet if you don’t have other intellectual idea base on this article.

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      • 23 November 2011 08:17, by ulla 007

        attention guys ,elections in the south sudan or else where which involved southerners is meaningless coz we are been lead by dull,illiterate and sick minded people,they failed to managed their home affair ,how can they manage wise?the answer is no.thats why you have seen things are going contrary to what actual planed and also they have mess up south meaning that it was simply job like food.

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        • 23 November 2011 11:10, by Steven Dhal Kuach

          To simply reply your comment, the hesitate of eradicating illiteracy in South is evry body’s initiative but honestly, to ask you a question, what is the maximum period that an English man can take before using the word "has been"? I meant, how long had they been leading you since the independent recently?. So we really need to eradicate illiteracy from South or wherever you belong just right from

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