ATENY: R-TGoNU proposed election deferral in 2023 

Ateny Wek Ateny, Press Secretary in the office of Presdient briefed journalists in Juba on Wednesday 14 April21

President Kiir’s press secretary said the Revitalize Peace agreement’s parties had proposed general election postponement in 2023. According to the statement, the government demands election deferral to allow the political parties to prepare and contest appropriately.

Ateny Wak Ateny spokesman of the President revealed the proposed plan during a news briefing in Juba.

But some parties denied an attempt to delay the election stated in the peace agreement.

Chapter (1) in the peace agreement detailed that National Election Commission -NEC shall organize an election in accordance with the provision permanent constitution. The election to happen in sixty (60) days before the end of the Transitional period.

President spokesman claimed the formation of Unity government delay that could pave the way for possible changes. “The transitional government was commenced on February 12, 2020. The implementation process will continue for thirty-six months until March 2023.”

A Political Activist, Dr. Peter Biar, testified to the U.S. Senate committee on foreign relations that said the South Sudanese government is intentionally derailing the appointment of new elections commissioners. The population censuses conduct the updating of the voter registry for elections to be held on time. The comment government denied.

The government has refuted the illegitimacy claim of Dr. Biar Ajak to pressure R-TGoNU.

Ateny said the general election needs preparation, census and security stability, return of IDPs, and the electoral constituencies’ determination.

“Conducting general elections in 2022 is also unwise politically; even if there were resources to do it, the hurried election would face problems of credibility and legitimacy, especially in the opposition-held areas” Ateny said.

Prominent South Sudan Opposition Alliance members denied any agreement between the parties on the proposal to extend the general election.

Changson Chang is a Minister of Higher Education. He said his party is not aware of any changes to delay the election. “if there are any proposals, it has to be discussed within the Unity government.” 

“I cannot comment on something raw, which has not been discussed when it is discussed and agree upon that where one would say something concrete.”

Last week, Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission -RJMEC said South Sudan needs a unifying army with national characters to prevent further violence during the election. 

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