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South Sudan opposition parties consider forming single party ahead of 2015 elections

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January 28, 2014 (JUBA) - At least thirteen South Sudanese political parties are discussing the possibility of forming a single party ahead the general elections schedule for 2015, an opposition figure said on Tuesday.

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South Sudan President Salva Kiir casts his vote in the 2010 general elections. (Reuters)

"We have been holding [a] series of serious discussions over the past months from which we came out with a consensus to emerge and form a single political party. What we are still discussing is the name of the party and who should be the flag bearer to contest the next general elections", said the member of the opposition who spoke on condition of anonymity.

South Sudan has several opposition parties but they have almost no political influence and power. The ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) - the political wing of the rebel movement that fought various Khartoum governments for over a decade until a 2005 peace deal paved the way for South Sudan’s secession from Sudan in 2011 - dominates the political landscape.

Although opposition parties are allowed, they are widely considered to having little chance of gaining political influence. There are presently more than 23 political parties, according to the registry with political parties’ council office, most of which do not have offices.

The SPLM is still not registered as a political party as it has failed to agree on its constitution and other vital documents as its national convention has been repeatedly delayed.

Tensions within the ruling party centre around at at least three senior figures who wished to challenge President Salva Kiir for the chairmanship of the party. The issues came to a head in a meeting on December 15 after which fighting broke out with the South Sudanese army, triggering the current conflict which has displaced over half a million people and killed some 10,000 people according to the International Crisis Group.

The second largest party, judging by the result of the 2010 general election, is the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC) led by Lam Akol, which broke away from the SPLM in 2009. The SPLM-DC won five seats compared to the SPLM’s 160. Seven seats went to independents.

Other political parties include; The South Sudan Labour Party, United Democratic Front, South Sudan Democratic Forum, South Sudan Democratic Front, South Sudan African Party, Sudan African National Union, South Sudan Community Party, United Democratic Party, United South Sudan Party, United Democratic Salvation Front among others.

Opposition figures do not want to announce the names of the parties in the new coalition because they were still conducting consultations over the name of the new group and deciding on a leader who will be able attract voters.

Once identified, he said, the presidential candidate would contest the presidential election on behalf of the coalition parties. In the 2010 election the SPLM incumbent Salva Kiir won almost 93% of the vote. The SPLM-DC’s Lam Akol was his only challenger.

Since the peace deal in January 2005 and the death of the SPLM’s founder and chairman John Garang six months later, observers say that the former rebel movement has struggled to evolve into a political party within a democratic system and detach itself from its armed wing, the SPLA, which is now South Sudan’s national army.

"The death of John Garang has changed many things for our people and the country (South Sudan)," said Abraham Jok, native of Abyei, an oil-producing area that remains contested between Sudan and South Sudan.

"It has caused us to reflect on our journey over the last eight years on the progress we have made, and on the opportunities utilised and lost. We lost a great and visionary leader that the South, and indeed Africa, will take time to [re]produce", he said.

Analysts say the performance of President Salva Kiir’s administration has led to a draining of support from the SPLM because of a corruption, unemployment, failure to deliver basic services, and abuses at the hands of the police, army and security services.

Despite these factors the SPLM would still be favourites to win the 2015 elections due their legacy as the party that brought independence, funding and their dominance in South Sudanese media.

However, the political infighting that led to the catastrophic current conflict will mean that "some South Sudanese will be forced to forgive the SPLM many things," Daniel Garang, a political science student at Nkumba University in Kampala, Uganda, told Sudan Tribune.

Some observers say the SPLM will win the next election, but with a smaller majority.

The opposition, Garang said, will look to make inroads into the SPLM’s support in six states which constitute the Equatoria and Upper Nile regions.

He argues that "old political formations" and the legacy of liberation were becoming obsolete, and that many people in the SPLM already oppose South Sudan’s repressive system, regardless of their tribal and regional backgrounds.

The 2015 elections, the first since independence, are likely to be much tighter contest that in 2010.

(ST)

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  • 29 January 06:14, by omoni jr.

    Please, do not waste dreaming about 2015 election.There will be election this when the tyrant and murdere sent out of this country.

    repondre message

    • 29 January 06:28, by omoni jr.

      There are the Tyrants who are concidered to be worst than Slava kiir,and they are specialized in lies and propaganda wars.
      1-Ateny wek-Ateny> This man was just hired recently but he left his really he got hired for, and become notorious lies
      2- Micheal Makuei Lueth.> This is dangerious liars in the government of genocidal/tyrant regime,sometimes say something contrary to what his boss slava sai

      repondre message

      • 29 January 06:34, by Mi diit

        omoni jr,
        I do understand what they are doing. We told them to organize so that they will ally with the SPLM under Dr. Riek Machar. Let them do that. It is ok. We need only two or three political parties in South Sudan.

        repondre message

      • 29 January 06:42, by omoni jr.

        con..
        3-philiph Aguer.> This rebels spokeman is the one destroying the SPLA/M, like yesterday, he lied about over 200 Machar’s rebels were surrendered in Unity,is actually black-Dankinzed lies,and mixes with "Luciferious tactic and propaganda retardations". Aguer needs to double check or cross-check news before he air it out,this gove’t is actually a "joke",the owners feel very comfortable.

        repondre message

      • 29 January 10:29, by Johndumo14

        Arest warat for Dr Riek machar.
        East African countries have issued an arest warant for Dr Riek Machar,for the theft of more than $6 billions dollars of their money in KBC
        in 3 states,Bor;bentiu,Malakal,including the stollen of 400 trucks belongs to a Somalis Business man plus worth of millions of goodsstollen by Riek forces,the case is filed in East African Cof Justice.

        repondre message

    • 29 January 07:16, by Johndumo14

      LEAVE SOUTH SUDAN ALONE!!!!
      When Nelson mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. The world powers like, USA,Russia,China,EU,Security council,Why did they not call for his early release???????????
      It it because black VS white ??? And why the world powers like the African Union ,the security council want the 11s.sudan politicians to be released ,is it because blacks VS Blacks???? Plse shut ur mouth!!

      repondre message

    • 29 January 07:36, by Johndumo14

      BREAKING NEWS!!!
      This massage is to all those soldiers who defected from Juba,Yei,Kaya,Kajokeji,torit,and othe states like Bentiu,Bor Malakal,who havejoined rebellion please you are kindly asked to surrender to the nearest SPLA UNIT in the area,you will be pardoned by the S.Sudan president,you are welcomed back to your unit with your full pay.This is not the time,to fight,think twice!!

      repondre message

    • 29 January 08:03, by Johndumo14

      BREAKING NEWS!!!!
      Ex-VP,Dr Riek Machar will face treason charges,this news is welcomed by many south sudanese,he faces not only treason charges,including war crimes back dated from 1991 to 2013,this will bring jutice to our new nation,and will bring relief to the families of those killed by this war lord supported by khartoum.Those generals around him must think now of their future.

      repondre message

    • 29 January 10:14, by Johndumo14

      Dr Riek machar is a wanted man in South Sudan.
      A south sudanese leading businessman is offering a reward of up to $1 million dollars to any one or a group of people who arest or kill Dr Riek Machar.To claime your money,just call
      this Tel.number+21195559.....the money is ready in one of south sudan`s Bank.

      repondre message

    • 29 January 10:27, by Johndumo14

      Arest warat for Dr Riek machar.
      East African countries have issued an arest warant for Dr Riek Machar,for the theft of more than $6 billions dollars of their money in KBC
      in 3 states,Bor;bentiu,Malakal,including the stollen of 400 trucks belongs to a Somalis Business man plus worth of millions of goodsstollen by Riek forces,the case is filed in East African Cof Justice.

      repondre message

    • 29 January 20:20, by Johndumo14

      Ex-VP Dr Riek Machar and six others are to face treason charges including Rebeka Nyandeng,she is among those opposed to President Salva Kiir rule,But Salva Kiir and his advisers ignore,her because she is the widow of late John Grang.
      Otherwise she is supposed to be imprisoned together with the 11 detained political prisoners,she even behaves like ilitrate,if her husband was a leader,so what???

      repondre message

  • 29 January 06:15, by Tutbol

    If those of Nyandeng, Riek Machar, Pagan Amum or Majak Agoot formed their opposing party against president party, our people would not have lost their lives, our country would not have been taken back by 10 years of development, our country image & our peoples images would not have been battered in the whole world---the sooner our leaders consider retiring, the better for everyone.

    repondre message

    • 29 January 06:32, by Tutbol

      — -On the other of side of the coin Europeans are unilaterally sending their troops to our C.A.R neighbor without AU approval, while they were the ones sounding loudest horns for for S Sudan to have invited Uganda’s troops to help fight an open rebellion....our people must need sharpen their spears, the Europeans want WAR so badly in Africa....

      repondre message

      • 29 January 06:39, by Tutbol

        they encroaching to Africa through their usual weak central Africans, Congo and West Africa & many African fools who often shout at S Sudan keeping quiet. I wonder our people will view the Europeans troops if they will come close to our Western Bhar el gazelle border....

        repondre message

      • 29 January 06:39, by Tutbol

        they encroaching to Africa through their usual weak central Africans, Congo and West Africa & many African fools who often shout at S Sudan keeping quiet. I wonder our people will view the Europeans troops if they will come close to our Western Bhar el gazelle border....

        repondre message

    • 29 January 06:32, by omoni jr.

      Do not cry yet,your notorious and serial killer will face genocide charges,ICC is the way forward.
      Until your boss admit that he was lying for the coup then we can forgive him never forget for the blood and the lives he caused to our citizens.

      repondre message

  • 29 January 06:37, by Kim Deng

    3rd stage, King Salva, a man who derived his right to power not from the choice of people, but from his illegitimate and favorable constitution after imposed it on south Sudanese. Power is not lay in the hand of elected officials by citizens, but King Salva Kiir himself. He (King Salva) supervised a team he appointed to draft what he calls Transitional-Constitution on his favor...

    repondre message

  • 29 January 06:38, by Kim Deng

    and sealed the document, deleted any democratic mechanism that may pose a threat to his throne. After the end of what they call interim period in six years, King Salva again appointed a permanent members who are tasked with writing permanent National Constitution (Law of the land). The participation of other political parties and civil society

    repondre message

  • 29 January 06:46, by Letigolight

    Word of wisdom to the opposition alliance! Do not just decide who should be the flag bearer, nominate candidates and subject them to parimaries in all the ten states so that you determine the person who can attract more votes; then let the party congress decide on the final candidate; this way, the undecided voters and some SPLM renegades will be swayed to your side; listen or become unpopular

    repondre message

  • 29 January 06:51, by tootke’bai-ngo

    Why are we eager to see SPLM PARTY being divided into pieces? Kiir and his insiders(hyenas)who are sucking bloods of poor s.sudanese had been advocating for dismissal of some members like Mr. Amum, Deng Alor e.t.c since 2012. Leaders around the world always work for the unity of the party & the coutry. THE SPLIT OF THE PARTY DURING LIBERATION STRUGGLE wasn’t good, THIS TIME IT WILL DIVIDE NATION.

    repondre message

    • 29 January 07:30, by Tutbol

      Tootke’bai-ngo,
      Opposing views are an inherent traits human beings civilisations, even siblings of the same moms & dads often oppose each others in front of their parents. We all know this in our own plains, But peoples rarely take up arms to fight each others for little disputes otherwise, the plains would not have had S Sudanese taking care of it....

      repondre message

      • 29 January 07:40, by Tutbol

        but our elders have betrayed our peoples & our country. Our peoples have bravely & stoically fought or grand enemies from the North & have been waiting from their communities from their elders in their govt to bring them basic services like water, schools, health facilities to their communities so that peoples can concentrate on building their...

        repondre message

  • 29 January 07:52, by Tata

    There is no political party in SS other than SPLM. Tell us at least 2 or 3 characteristics which make those organization(s political party(ies). Tell us and the world at large:
    (1) - The philosophy of that political party.
    (2) - The agenda of action of that political party.
    (3) - Physical addresses in States and Juba.
    These are only the products of Khartoum’s Omar Ahmed Hassan el Bashir. Useless!

    repondre message

  • 29 January 12:04, by Marco Bul

    The more the rebels continued to fight,the more there will be no elections and this translate to Kiir ruling till the rebels stop fighting.You will attest to this as long you are alive.Sad truth!!

    repondre message

  • 30 January 02:23, by marie

    panom lualbil,
    That is why SPLA and SPLM cannot lead the country because they have acquired the diseases you mentioned during the 21 years in the Bush. The constitution of South Sudan gives rights to any group of people to form their political parties; provided there’s platform that it stands for. SPLM has failed the people of South Sudan, the legacy it has is now obsolete. We need new vision.

    repondre message

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