14th July 2024
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Bakosoro assigns civil society to find remedy for election row

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Presidential Affairs Minister Joseph Bangasi Bakosoro. (Photo/Charles Wote).

The Minister of Presidential Affairs has challenged civil society organizations to suggest the way forward regarding controversies surrounding the conduct of upcoming elections.

The unity government is left with only 8 months to the end of the transitional period, before which it is expected to go to polls in December 2024 to elect a democratic government.

However, key provisions of the peace agreement are yet to be implemented.

These include the completion of the security arrangement, the writing of a permanent constitution and the drawing of timelines and funding of pre-election activities.

On Tuesday, a civic and political dialogue on the transitional process in South Sudan kicked off in Juba, with over 70 members of the civil society, faith-based groups and political officials in attendance.

The three-day conference focuses on the constitution-making process, security arrangements, transitional justice, and national elections.

They are expected to come up with recommendations on the way forward to address challenges facing implementation of the peace agreement.

In his opening remarks, Presidential Affairs Minister Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro, strongly backed the SPLM position to hold elections as stipulated in the roadmap.

“This should be the end of the transitional period, no extension. According to the government of the day. There is no extension who is going to accept extension,” he said.

He said the United Nations, European Union and IGAD observers have equally rejected any possible extension of the transitional government.

“The government said no extension. The United Nations said no extension the Troika say no extension. The European Union said no extension the IGAD said no extension then who are you or me to say there must be extension again?”

“We don’t want it. The only issue is what is the way forward which is now for you to tell us in good faith. What is the way forward and this is the message I am bringing to you.”

Minister Bakosoro said that the resolutions of the civil society conference will help guide the peace parties to a new path.

“There was a political dialogue going to take place, but you have already gone ahead. I praise you and encourage you whatever you come with here based it on construction, objectivity.”

“Probably, you never know, you can pull the whole animal to us and say this is the way to go.”

“You are so important to us like any other institution, please deliberate well, discuss well with all the religious leaders, whatever you decide may help us to guide us to a new path.”

In recent months, the SPLM-In-Government said elections would be held as scheduled, a position supported by the South Sudan Opposition Alliance, and Other Political Parties.

However, the SPLM-In Opposition said elections cannot go ahead without full implementation of the 2018 peace deal and called for another extension.

SPLM-IO Deputy Chairperson, Oyet Nathaniel said the opposition group would mostly likely boycott the polls without a permanent constitution.

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