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Kiir not imposing himself on citizens, says minister

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March 24, 2021 (JUBA) - A South Sudanese official has dismissed claims that President Salva Kiir has imposed himself on the citizens.

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Nhial Deng Nhial (Getty Image)

The Minister for the Presidency, Nhial Deng Nhial was reacting to renowned South Sudanese activist, Peter Biar Ajak’s recent address before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in Washington.

Biar, once detained by the country’s national security service, accused President Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar of imposing themselves on the people of South Sudan.

“Despite the severe repression in the country, our people made this unequivocally clear in the recently concluded South Sudan National Dialogue, demanding that Kiir and Machar urgently find an exit route from the political scene,” he told the Senate Committee.

But the Minister for the Presidency, on Tuesday, dismissed the claims as unfounded.

“When President Kiir was elected in 2010 as the President of the Government of Southern Sudan, those who cast their ballots for him are the very same South Sudanese who would have done so again had elections been held in 2015,” Nhial said on Tuesday.

He said the constitutional and political context in which citizens vote is “immaterial” for so long as the voters remain the same people.

"Therefore President Kiir’s right to lead South Sudan, at least till the next elections determine the post-transition power architecture, is undiminished," Nhial explained.

The minister, a senior member of the country’s ruling party (SPLM), said the government of President Kiir is committed in the implementation of the revitalized peace deal.

He argued that calls for elections in 2022 were not justifiable given that formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity in 2018 took longer than expected, hence the need to compensate for time lost during that period

"Premature elections cannot reflect the true will of the electorate and would consequently amount to an act of practical disenfranchisement, a travesty of political justice and a recipe for disaster," said Nhial.

(ST)

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