By Manyang Mayom
March 3, 2010 (RUMBEK) – Isaac Kon Anok, a party official who had aimed to win a seat in the South Sudan Legislative Assembly as an independent candidate, has dropped his campaign and rejoined the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).
Kon rejoined the party in the presence of Lakes state SPLM chairperson Lt-Gen Daniel Awet Akot and state secretary Samuel Mathiang Keer. He said over state radio that he had made a mistake and he requested all Lakes state people to forgive him. Out of 18 defectors from the party in the state, he is the first independent candidate to rejoin the SPLM.
Kon, a former SPLM deputy chairman in Lakes state, had left the party aiming to contest independently for the geographical constituency of Awerial County. Kon’s resignation letter mentioned his dissatisfaction with the process used by the party’s state electoral college to choose the candidates.
On Tuesday, Anok told the state-owned radio that “I was left out during the nominations; I was annoyed when my name was dropped during the primary nomination although I am an engine of SPLM in Rumbek. I decided to resign from the party – that decision was according to SPLM leadership’s request that anyone who might decide to contest as an independent candidate should first resign from the party, that why I accepted to resign.”
He also added that “My people of Awerial were unhappy after my decision to contest as an independent candidate; I have accepted my people’s will. I call upon all SPLM independent candidates to come back to serve SPLM party – I am completely back for you and I will serve you as usual — I have throw away that devil’s work, I have come back fully, let us join hands to build our state”.
Daniel Awet Akot, the ex-governor, said that “we are celebrating today because brother Isaac Kon Anok has return back to us that is a spirit we want in the SPLM party.”
Awet said that Kon came with a paper requesting instalment and the party secretariat accepted his decision. “The SPLM will remember you and if you managed to return, you will be consider immediately,” Awet said that he told Kon.
The number of independent candidates drawn from the ranks of the ruling SPLM has prompted backlash from some party officials. On Tuesday, the Deputy Secretary General of the SPLM Southern Sector Anne Itto Tuesday sent a memo addressed to SPLM State Secretaries to abide by the February 16th Political Bureau resolution on independent candidates. The measure directed that independent candidates not be accorded the privileges and rights of SPLM members.