December 13, 2013 (JUBA) - Senior leaders of South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) have postponed a public rally which was previously scheduled to take place on Saturday.
- South Sudan’s former vice president, Riek Machar (AP/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin)
At a press conference on 6 December, senior party officials, including the former vice-president and deputy SPLM chairman, Riek Machar, expressed their concerns about the party’s affairs, particularly the leadership style of the country’s president and chairman of the SPLM, Salva Kiir, whom they accused of “dictatorial tendencies”.
They announced that they would hold a public rally on Saturday to enlighten the people about the situation.
However, a press statement released by Machar’s office on Friday said the rally was being postponed until 20 December in order to allow more opportunity for dialogue and reconciliation.
The statement, which was signed by Machar, explained that the decision was made in response to calls by SPLM supporters for further dialogue between the two groups within the party’s leadership.
“This decision was arrived at in response to the call of SPLM well-wishers for postponement of both the rally and the meeting of the National Liberation Council (NLC) to give opportunity [for] internal political dialogue until consensus is attained on the contentious issues of democracy in the SPLM”, the statement adds.
In the meantime, Machar called on the “people to remain calm and patient.”