May 29, 2014 (JUBA) - Two South Sudanese political parties agreed on Wednesday to emerge, pledging to strengthen unity and fight tribalism and corruption practices.
The breakaway faction of South Sudan Democratic Forum (SSDF-mainstream) under the leadership of late Wal Duany, formed on 2nd December 2011, announced that its leadership, chaired by Mario Awet had agreed to merge with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC) to form one political entity.
“We the undersigned parties agree to merge all level of leadership, membership at national and the states under the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC)”, partly reads a declaration statement signed by both the SSDF’s acting secretary general Deng Bior Deng and SPLM-DC’s deputy chairperson, Kerubino Pow Gatluak.
The leaders pledged to work together to defend the constitution, rule of law and human right rights in the country as well as adherence to democratic norms, through pluralism and rotation of power by holding credible elections.
Both parties, in accordance with the signed declaration, agreed to combat tribalism and corruption through equitable apportionment of resources and powering sharing.
They further pledged readiness towards working together to the national expectation was to strengthen the unity in diversity and consensus for national building as well as working together to promote spirit of tolerance, cooperation with all sectors of the society to promote speedy and peaceful end to the devastating armed conflict.
Observers and independent analysts, however, see the emerging as one of the alternative political approach to challenge and unseat president Salva Kiir’s severely divided Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), but the impact of such a political conglomeration are yet to be seen.
The SPLM, however, congratulated the leadership of the two parties, describing it as the beauty of democracy embedded in its constitution and noting that the coalition represents no threat to its popularity and chances of losing in future elections.
Awet said his faction decided to break away from the group under the current cabinet affairs minister, Martin Elia Lomuro, because it "deviated from the core objectives".
“The South Sudan Democratic Forum- Mainstream came into existence in Juba on 2nd December 2011, by the concerned members under the leadership of late Dr.Wal Duany. This was to keep the vision by revisiting the core objectives of the party after inception in September 2001, in London, United Kingdom, because the former party leaders have mismanaged and deviated from the main principle objective”, Awet said in the declaration of statement.
He said the main principle objectives for which the party was initially launched was to campaign for the creation of South Sudan as an independent state from Sudan.
"This can now be reviewed so that the party adjusts to the requirements of the new nation since the initial objective is achieved. After establishment of the new born sovereign state, we felt the need for changing the core objective of the party from the right to self-determination to the promotion of national development and democracy.
But due to the critical situation in which the country is in today, and after having gone through thorough consultation with Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change, we realised that the best way to contribute in the stability and the development of our country is to merge and work collectively as one body", Awet explained.
"This is very important because if our people need to progress, they need a strong political party with a clear vision, mission and self-denial in terms of service delivery", he added.
Meanwhile, the SPLM-DC’s acting secretary said his party had accepted to merge with the breakaway faction of SSDF to forge consensus on how to deliver the country from the pits of discord, disparity and hatred.
“Our gathering here today marks the desires and objectives of joining our brothers and sisters in South Sudan Democratic Forum, Mainstream and indeed a wanton to cooperate with other political parties, including the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to forge consensus to deliver our country and the nation from the pits of discord and hatred to the majestic heights of oneness of purpose, good governance, rule of law and human rights towards building a viable and vibrant country that can be respected by our people and externally by others", Deng said in a statement.
He said the merger came after both sides exhausted self-assessment discussions to identify areas where improvement necessary for change and adoption of new strategies was required.
“After thorough and comprehensive discussions the leadership of the two parties came out and agreed in principle to merge in order to rescue our fledgling democracy and the nation", Deng added.