December 4, 2013 (BENTIU) - A South Sudanese opposition party - the United Democratic Salvation Front Mainstream - has elected a new chairman during a meeting of party members in Unity state.
Simon William Gai Chang, who received 80% of the vote, was applauded by UDSF members after he was voted in for a four year term.
The new leader said that he hoped he would be able to unite the membership and work alongside other South Sudanese parties to bring change and democratic transition to the young nation.
"My priority [is] I want to unite the members of UDSF Mainstream in Unity state and I want to activate the activities of youths and women leagues in the state. So what I can tell to our people in Unity state is that let us work together with the government of Unity state."
Chang praised the party’s committed advocacy for South Sudan’s separation from Sudan in 2011 referendum.
He said that the UDSF’s vision was to unite the people and make peace in the republic of South Sudan.
The UDSF Mainstream was formed after Khartoum peace agreement in 1997 and opened its official office in Sudan in 1998, later moving to Unity state. The Khartoum Peace Agreement was signed by a splinter group from South Sudan’s main rebel movement - the SPLA.
The party chairman says they are cooperating with the ruling Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) to address the problems facing the nation.
Chang refused to comment on whether his party had faced any intimidation from the ruling SPLM.