November 30, 2013 (JUBA) - A senior official from South Sudan’s ruling party (SPLM) chapter in the United States has crossed over to country’s main opposition party, Sudan Tribune has learnt.
- A supporter of South Sudan’s Salva Kiir during the 2010 election campaign (getty)
Achor Dhel Jal, until recently an associate representative of the SPLM in the mid-west of the country, reportedly joined the opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC), alleging he was inspired by the the latter’s vision and its “unwavering fight against corruption, nepotism and tribalism” in the country.
Gatluak Pal Chuol, who identified himself as the Secretary General for the opposition party office in the US said Jal officially registered on 20 November, to become a member of the SPLM-DC.
His defection, political analyst say, underscores the difficult period the SPLM is currently experiencing both at home and in the diaspora.
Early this year, the SPLM chapter in the US voted out is chairperson, Mangok Mangok Mayen, after they accused him of allegedly involvement in corruption, nepotism and failure to run the office.
Jal, a Juba university alumni, rose to this position in February 2008, after previously serving as the SPLM youth secretary general while in Cairo, Egypt, in 1996, before leaving for the US.
Neither the SPLM secretariat in the capital, Juba nor its external relations office has released any statement in relation the latest defection of its senior party member in the diaspora.
Independent observers and critics of the regime, however, say it was Jal’s right, under the party’s constitution, to join or leave any political party, but wondered whether his new party was any different from the ruling party, which he previously served.
“So my friend Achor [Jal] has not gone anywhere. He just acted like someone who put on a cloth of the same texture and claimed to have bought the best quality cloth,” said Moses Aguer Deng.
SPLM and SPLM-DC are only difference in names by the same leaders with the same ideologies, specially the style of leadership, he added.
Deng, a student at Bahr el Ghazal University currently in Juba, said the next elections would be tough, pointing out that electorates would only vote for candidates they have scrutinised properly.
“The 2015 elections will not be taken for granted. It will be a tough competition. People will vote for personalities, especially what they are known to have done to their constituents and the country,” he said, citing the 2010 elections, during which he claimed some people were voted for simply because they were from the SPLM.