December 3, 2013 (JUBA) - South Sudan president Salva Kiir has openly accused some members of his ruling Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) party of acting more like those opposed to the country’s leadership.
- President Salva Kiir addresses the press at the presidential palace in Juba May 2, 2013 (Reuters)
“As you return, you must work very hard to unite the people in your states, structure your cabinet to align with the national cabinet so that resources are reserved to deliver services which our people are in need. You need to work very hard to structure the SPLM at all levels", Kiir told state governors at a Monday meeting.
There is no opposition party, but the SPLM itself, he added.
The president’s remarks, analysts say, reflects the magnitude of the current tension arising from internal wrangles within the south-ruling party.
The South Sudanese leader, specifically cited states where governors often took unilateral actions without consulting the ruling party structures and the unusual practices of some SPLM caucus members opposing decisions from the executive.
“These are things which must be corrected. There is nowhere where members of the same party behave as if they are different parties. There is no secrecy. Things which are discussed and supposed to be treated as internal matters come out before they are even known by some members”, emphasised Kiir.
This practice must be discouraged and all of us should work out ways of handling internal [party]matters, he stressed.
The SPLM, senior members disclosed, will hold its National Liberation Council (NLC) meeting from 9-11 December, ending weeks of speculation that caused public disarray.
Its general secretariat, in a statement issued on Wednesday, urged all members of the NLC to collect copies of the draft party constitution and manifesto ahead of the next week’s meeting.
SENIOR OFFICIALS SPEAK
Martin Majut Yak, the secretary for popular and syndicated organisation at the SPLM headquarters said the party leadership had confirmed that the NLC meeting will be held in the second week of this month.
“So as the secretariat, we are preparing accordingly”, Yak told reporters in Juba.
The meeting, he further said, would discuss a range of issues relating to the passing of the basic party documents, which was to be revised at the request of senior members to reflect international norms and standards.
“The basic documents, which the leadership would hold discussion about, include the SPLM Constitution 2008, basic rule and regulations, code of conduct and its manifesto”, the official said.
Louis Lobong Lojore, the governor of South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state confirmed that the president indeed demanded that the party be restructured and the cabinet aligned at state levels to meet the policy of a lean government.
“We are from the meeting which was organised by the president. He [Kiir] wanted to brief us about the policy of his government and about the structuring of the SPLM in the states,” he said in a statement aired on the state-owned SSTV.
The country’s ruling party currently faces a tough test after is senior members, including former vice-president Riek Machar openly challenged Kiir’s recent pronouncement that the SPLM structures had been dissolved.