September 27, 2013 (WAU) - South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit has said his governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) - the former rebel movement which came to power in 2005 after over two decades fighting the Sudanese government - will rule the country for the next century.
- A girl holds a South Sudan flag during the announcement of the preliminary results of voting in Sudan, January 30, 2011 (Reuters)
Kiir was reacting to infighting between SPLM members who are vying for a finite number of government and party positions. The president, who is the chairman of the SPLM, told party members to bide their time, reassuring them that no other political party was competent enough to win the support of the people and defeat the SPLM at ballot box.
“Why do you envy each other while you are members of the same party? What is the problem? Can you not work together to resolve issues peacefully among yourselves. Why are you in a hurry? Where are you going? If it is because of time that you want to serve then wait. Your time will come. There will be an opportunity for all of you. SPLM will rule this country for [a] hundred years. There are no competent political parties with which you can compete. The SPLM is the only party that is capable to serve according to the interest of our people”, Kiir told SPLM members in Wau, capital of Western Bahr el Ghazal state during his recent tour of the region.
The president was reacting to an allegation raised by governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal, Rizik Zachariah Hassan, in which he accused deputy speaker of South Sudan’s parliament, Mark Nyipuoc, of trying to remove Hassan from his position.
Nyipuoc, who is the chairperson of the Western Bahr el Ghazal branch of the SPLM, served as the governor of the state before Hassan was chosen as the SPLM’s candidate for the 2010 elections.
"The problem is that Mark [Nyipuoc] does not want me as the governor. I if go today, he will be happy and he will be visiting me in my house as [a] friend. His problem is power. He does not want me completely to serve this state as a governor”, governor Hassan told the meeting presided by President Salva Kiir.
Governor Hassan’s accusation against his predecessor necessitated the dissolution of the SPLM branch office in the state and subsequent selection of the new team apparently to avoid division within the party in the area.
President Kiir called on the SPLM leaders and members to work together as to promote peace and unity so as to put the interest of the nation above everything else
“You must work as comrades and team members from now. There is no need for this division. I want you to forget the past and open new page and work together as team and colleagues”, Kiir told the two leaders.
The SPLM came to power in South Sudan as a result of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended two-decade civil war with the Sudanese government in Khartoum.
In 2010 Salva Kiir retained control of the presidency, with almost 93% of votes in the autonomous region’s elections. As a party, the SPLM won 160 of the 170 seats in South Sudan’s national legislative assembly.
However, since 2011 when South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly to secede from Sudan, the SPLM has faced growing pressure to address corruption, insecurity and to provide basic services.