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Delegates want independent electoral body

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Saturday, November 14, 2020

The national dialogue conference is expected to end next week/Lou Nelson/Eye Radio.

Delegates at the ongoing national dialogue conference in Juba have called for creation of an independent electoral body to manage South Sudan’s forthcoming election.

The dialogue steering committee says it fears the three years of the transitional period — to end in ten months, would not achieve much if elections are left to the parties to the peace agreement.

It suggested that the elections should be be organized and managed by an independent body to prevent rigging and resultant violent conflict.

Elizabeth Pita Lugor, one of tje delegates at the national dialogue conference read out the proposal on Thursday.

The steering committee said a UN-run electoral process will succeed because it had previously conducted elections in Cambodia in South East Asia and East Timor in the pacific region where the countries are now in peace.

However, the proposal generated mixed reactions from the delegates.

At the end of the arguments the acting co-chair, Betty Achan Ogwaro ruled that an independent electoral body be formed to organize and manage the elections with support from international bodies.

According to the revitalized peace agreement signed in September 2018, elections shall be organized 60 days before the end of the three-year Transitional Period.

However, amendments of the National Elections Act, and the Political Parties Act, have yet to be completed.

Article 1.20.8 of the revitalized peace agreement stipulates that the reconstituted elections body may, upon its formation, request the assistance of the United Nations and the African Union in areas including polling and elections security arrangements, tallying and counting, and results announcement.

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