Home | News    Tuesday 24 September 2013

S. Sudan’s Kiir admits 2015 elections may be delayed

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September 23, 2013 (KUACJOK, Warrap State) - South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir has expressed uncertainty over whether the new nation’s first general elections since independence will be held on schedule in 2015.

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Salva Kiir casts his vote in the 2010 elections.

The nascent country’s last elections were held in April 2010 when the region was an autonomous part of Sudan as part of a 2005 peace deal with the Khartoum government.

The SPLM, the former-rebel-group-turned-ruling-party, which is led by Kiir won a landslide victory, solidifying their control of South Sudanese politics ahead of the vote for independence the following year.

Since secession, however, the SPLM has been hit by in-fighting and corruption scandals. Meanwhile the country battled against insecurity and humanitarian emergencies, as well as an economic crisis caused by a dispute with neighbouring Sudan over oil transit fees.

Speaking at the Warrap state parliament on Monday, the president cited lack of funds to conduct the census and completion of the new constitution as reasons that could delay the poll. The successful conduct of the 2015 elections is seen by many as essential for South Sudan is to emerge as a democracy.

“Elections may not be held on time because there are certain issues which must be carried out first. Census needs to be conducted. There is also a need to complete drafting the permanent constitution so that it is passed by the national legislative assembly. These processes require time and resources”, said Kiir.

His comments have affirmed fears among Kiir’s critics that he intends to delay the election in order to prolong his grip on power.

In recent weeks Kiir has acted against potential rivals for his position as the chairperson of the SPLM. In August he removed his vice president Riek Machar who had begun to openly campaign for the position and replaced him with loyalist James Wani Igga.

Machar has maintained his position as the SPLM’s deputy chair, but the party’s secretary general Pagan Amum has been suspended, reportedly with restrictions against travel and speaking to the media, while he is investigated for criticising Kiir’s leadership.

The governor of Unity state, Taban Deng Gai, was also recently replaced among allegations - which he denied - that he was planning to back Machar’s bid to oust Kiir as the SPLM chairperson and therefore the party’s candidate for the 2015 elections.

Kiir’s comments casting further doubt over the timely conduct of the election appear to contrast with the deputy chairperson of the National Elections Commission, Jerisa Kide Barsaba, who said last week that the 2015 general elections will be held as planned.

"Although there are some challenges facing the commission the vote will be held as scheduled", she said.

"Article 100 of the transitional constitution says that the tenure of the president starts from 9 July 2011 to 9 July 2015, so it means elections must be before that," Barsaba clarified.

"On 9 July 2015, a new government must be in place. Still with the help of the international community and our government, I am sure we will manage to run elections in 2015."

Barsaba cited Iraq and Liberia as some of the countries that have conducted elections without a census and said that South Sudan will likely do the same.

There have been growing concerns there could be a delay in the vote, after the chairman National Bureau of Statistics, Isaiah Chol Aruai, said the possibility of holding a census in 2014 was unlikely.

(ST)

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  • 24 September 2013 06:49, by Paul Chadrack

    kiir must choose between holding 2015s election on time and opted for chaos, if no elections held before 9 july 2015, a transitional government should be appointed which will prepare for elections within 6 months time.

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    • 24 September 2013 07:16, by Paul Chadrack

      no more time for a drunkard, womanizer,weak and corrupt president should be extended. why airing these news in warab? is he druming for support from his gel weng militias?, southerners should say no to any of kiir’s stupid plans by using any means will teach him a great lesson for the rest of his life.

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    • 24 September 2013 07:28, by Gatkuoth

      He is not longer legitimate after 2015. He deliberately delayed the electoral processes. He must address the nation about his exit plan or people who elected him will use other means to remove him. He has forgotten the cause of our struggle.

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      • 24 September 2013 08:07, by Naath

        Tribalis,there is no suprise for that report at all,i told you guys three month ago hopeless kiir will come up with other stupid i dea.But the bottom line is kiir will face south sudanese in the war field with his supporter,no tribal war this time, itis war againist any one who againist rule of law or democratic system.my message to you mr president this time be ready is Nuer againist Dinka,

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    • 24 September 2013 11:48, by william

      @Pual Chadrack, It is in best known of all of south Sudanese that chaios is your usual habit of uncountable militia men your master was sponsoring against south Sudanese. Yet truth had spoken itself until you came back from hiding point/Khartoum. likewise, you may admits one day the pitfall realities. Riak will tell you more about consequences of being against your people.

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    • 24 September 2013 15:30, by Ambago

      Mr President
      For how long will you be held back by lack of confidence? It is out of fear that you have all this time worked hard to dodge your party’s convention. Now you are again scared of the election. Even back in 2010, you were opposed to that elections, but you were forced by the NCP and the Troika. Anyway 2015 is going to be the year, like it or not.

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  • 24 September 2013 07:53, by Big Boy

    Dear reader!!
    Let him express himself why the election will not be on time as schedule 2015-Jul-09? don’t intimidate the president as his’s ur leader let him enjoy the leadership before he die in the office? as you know africa leaders they die in office when they have a chance to be leadership...

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  • 24 September 2013 08:22, by dude

    Kiir does not seem to know his exit strategy. It is surely always very painful for Africans leaders. I hope he will take the easy way out.

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  • 24 September 2013 08:30, by Agutthon

    Procrastination in the making. The party chaos shows that elections will not be held in time. It is no surprise that no single elections or by-elections been held since referendum.

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  • 24 September 2013 09:09, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    All comments presented by president Kiir regarding the general election in 2015 are ligiable but greedy power seekers are misconcepted his says.

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    • 24 September 2013 09:16, by Gatkuoth

      Ayuiu, Who’s greedy of power? it is you and your uncle. How long do you want to be in power? He was elected till 2015 and that’s all. He is not legitimate and you will pay the price for any consequence that will take this country to turmoil. What a president who values his greedy ambition than the lives of his people, Was the delay of SPLM convention in may also due to fund? Liars.

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  • 24 September 2013 11:30, by Guandong

    Under no circumstances Mr. Kiir can’t reject election like his home decission. its country not own proterty. Hopefully we gonna conduct these election on time either by Gun or whatever means else. u can’t be all thing.

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  • 24 September 2013 13:14, by Guandong

    The term of leadership in south sudan is valid on 09 july 2010 upto 09 2015 that means beyond that mandate, it will expire. who is eligeble to re-activate it? the answer is well obvious that The Public is eligeble for renewal.

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