April 3, 2017 (JUBA) – A former South Sudanese minister has denied reports that he intends to challenge Salva Kiir for the presidency in 2018.
Paul Mayom Akec, a former minister for water and irrigation, instead said he will instead back President Salva Kiir if the latter contested.
“I have no intention to contest the upcoming election with the incumbent president Salva Kiir Mayardit. My aim is to support him to win the election,” said Mayom, accusing some unnamed people of allegedly trying to incite the public against the government in Juba.
Mayom, a lawmaker from Lakes state in the Transitional National Assembly, is a senior member of the ruling party’s political bureau.
Reports recently emerged that some senior officials from the country’s ruling party were at odd with the minister in the office of president, Mayiik Ayii Deng and that the latter was closely working with the former foreign affairs minister, Nhial Deng Nhial to ensure that hey take over power in 2018.
Sudan Tribune could, however, not independently verify these claims.
President Kiir has not publicly stated his intention to retain his seat, but speculation is rife that his ruling party (SPLM) members could still endorse him for the top job when the transitional period ends in 2018.