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S. Sudan’s opposition leaders reject unilateral elections

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December 3, 2014 (JUBA) – Opposition leader from various political parties in South Sudanese have warned against any attempt to conduct unilateral and partial elections in the country before the ongoing conflict is comprehensively and peacefully settled.

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South Sudan’s main opposition leader, Lam Akol (AFP)

“Any attempt to carry out partial elections is a recipe for the escalation of war as the other warring party will try its best to interrupt the elections while the government mobilises its resources to see the process through," the parties said in statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

"Our experiences of partial elections in Sudan are still fresh in our minds and were not by any standard pleasant. We should not repeat obvious mistakes”; it added.

The document, acknowledged by 13 member political party leaders, stressed that Constitution, the National Elections Act and its regulations were the legal framework required by the National Elections Commission to conduct electoral processes.

“We are not yet in possession of such a document and would like the Commission to enlighten us as to how it can embark on the election Calendar when such an important reference document is missing. For the sake of transparency and openness, the Regulations should be made available to the general public," argued the party leaders.

They also questioned how the elections could be conducted while the population census, as stipulated in the country’s transitional constitution, was not yet conducted.

Article 194 of the Constitution clearly stipulates that “the national government shall during the transitional period conduct a population census the outcome of which shall, inter alia, determine the number of the electoral constituencies for the next general elections. No population census has yet been conducted, how will the Commission determine the number of electoral constituencies?"

They also cited section 38 of the National Elections Act, saying boundaries of various geographical constituencies have to be determined by the electoral body based on the publication of the results of each population census.

"No other method is contemplated”, stressed the party leader in their statement.

The group also proposed to the Commission to “use voter registration as the source for determining Geographical Electoral Constituencies has no basis in law”.

“It is not the business of the commission to look for data for the demarcation of the geographical constituencies. It should be provided with ready information by the executive branch of government. If that information does not come on time, especially when the Commission has alerted those concerned as early as July, then it should clearly point out the difficulty of conducting the elections on time”, the group argued

According to political party leaders, the priority at the moment and at any time should have been to bring about a negotiated peaceful settlement that will establish a comprehensive peace all over the country followed by reconciliation and healing among our divided people, then and only then, can a credible election be conducted.

“For sure, we are on the way of achieving a negotiated settlement through the IGAD led mediation. As you are aware, our country is and has been since mid-December 2013 in the grip of a bloody civil war that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of our citizens, displaced two million people, resulted in the destruction of public and individual properties and caused irreparable damage in the social fabric of our communities," their statement reads.

It asked: "Can a situation in which the bullets are hissing vast territories of land are depopulated and potential candidates cannot cross tribal boundaries, for the ethnic nature the war has acquired, be conducive for democratic, peaceful and credible elections?

Tens of thousands have been killed and millions displaced since violence broke out in South Sudan nearly a year ago. Aid agencies have warned of famine in 2015 if fighting continues.

(ST)

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  • 4 December 2014 08:37, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    South Sudan interim constitution is demanding elections to be conducted in 2015, therefore elections mighty be placed accordingly.
    the recipe of Mr. Lam and Riek Machar is talking for is nonsense.
    the country is a Democratic country where as people should go for elections immediately such that yo protect constitution which rebels violated.

    repondre message

    • 4 December 2014 08:53, by Malakal county Simon

      Makuac Lam are you insane??

      The article 194 of the Constitution clearly stipulates that “the national government shall during the transitional period conduct a population census the outcome of which shall, inter alia, determine the number of the electoral constituencies for the next general elections.

      So why rush to hold election when the census is not conducted yet?? Only fools can agree with.

      repondre message

    • 4 December 2014 10:57, by Ayom Ayom

      Who care if there is no election in 2015, the ruling party continues to rule and if the national election commission decide to hold election in 2015 with previous census results,that will be a victory to the ruling party SPLM to win the election because opposition/rebels are not ready for elections now and the slogan of regime change will take longer more years then expected.

      repondre message

      • 5 December 2014 17:22, by Rami Tot

        Ayom Ayom

        you re caring now that is why u re writing on this website or else your boss will care.

        repondre message

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