July 16, 2013 (JUBA) - A senior official from Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has downplayed any negative impact the seemingly tense internal struggle would have on the south-ruling party.
- SPLM political bureau members at a meeting (splmtoday)
In an interview with Sudan Tribune, Mark Nyipuoc, a member of the party’s political bureau, said what the party currently faces were “in house” matters, unlikely to affect the popularity and performance of current regime.
"I want to put the records straight that the current political situation will not have any negative impact on the performance of the government as well as the popularity of the SPLM as a party within our population,” he said.
The current situation [in the party] is a creation of individuals seeking attention, he emphasised.
The official, who is currently a member of the party’s highest political organ, stressed that the SPLM party and the leadership were in harmony, and that the ruling party was still popular enough to win next year’s polls.
He largely accused the media and some individuals, whom he did not identify, of “advertising themselves through creation of undesirable situation and magnifying internal differences” in the party, ahead of the long-awaited national convention.
“It is you in the media and those advertising themselves who are magnifying it. It is you and those you speak to who are making the situation look as if there is a conflict within the leadership,” said Nyipuoc.
“There is nothing and I must say there is nothing, he added, while emphasising that what the party currently faces were “purely internal matters”.
The official further said that President Salva Kiir, also the current party chair, castigated any instances of factional pronouncements and statements creating divisions within the party.
THE GARANG BOYS
Nyipuoc says the so-called “Garang Boys”, a term often used to refer to those loyal to Dr. John Garang, the former SPLM leader and founder, do not exist in the party structure.
He blamed the media for allegedly creating “false impression” on the existence of such groups said to be loyal to individuals and friends opposed to the current leadership.
“There are those who until today refer to others as boys of so and so, just like they used to create this myth of the existence of those they previously called Garang boys. I don’t know how they are still being called now that there is a different person in the leadership,” he said.
“For me, I think that these are creations for division. And I must say there are no linkages to what they say and what exist. All of us were Garang’s boys, if serving under a leader heading a certain institution or a system categorised people into groups and makes them boys,” the official added.
Each party, he stressed, has its own rules and regulations that have to consistently be used when such internal matters arise and need to be resolved, without third party involvement.
NOT CABINET LOBBYING
However, the senior member of the SPLM vehemently denied allegations that his recent statements in support of the president were indirect tactics to lobby for a cabinet position.
“What position? These are talks of the kids. I do not look for positions. It is the leadership which finds me [and] what the system thinks I would do well to serve our people. I never recommend myself, never ever in my life. People see what I can do well and they tell the leadership to call me,” he told Sudan Tribune.
But added, “I accept the call because there will be no reason to reject what my people want me to do”.
The country’s vice-president, Riek Machar recently warmed of a possible collapse of ruling party, unless it democratically transforms and refocuses itself.
Machar, also the SPLM deputy chairman, told senior officials that the party had “lost direction and vision”, making references to reports from various state secretariats across the country, which depicts the party was largely unpopular.
He however said it was incumbent upon the governing party to change the status quo.
Last year, the SPLM dispatched its most senior members to various states and carried out a country-wide performance assessment based on the party’s policies and activities at the grassroots. However, results from these assessments shockingly showed the party had lost its sense of direction and vision.
Officials are now worried that the historical party may not win the upcoming 2015 elections, after it appears to have lost the confidence of the people as the country’s governing party.
Many, however, blame the party for alleged failure to deliver the much-needed service to the people, while others say the SPLM has performed below peoples’ expectations.