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Former youth union candidate alleges discriminative qualification

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Youth Union candidate John Angeth Kenyi. (-)

A former candidate for chairmanship of the South Sudan Youth Union has petitioned the Minister of Youth and Sports for what he calls a biased disqualification by the electoral committee.

The National Youth Union was supposed to hold a youth convention to elect a new leadership on Wednesday, but the convention has been adjourned under unclear circumstances.

John Angeth Kenyi, a member of the Union of Persons with Disabilities, claims he was disqualified to contest after the council’s and electoral committee attached secondment as barrier.

He said he was nominated by the Union of Persons with Disabilities and had met the age limite of 21 – 31 required by the youth regulation.

In his petition, Angeth appealed to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Joseph Geng Akech to intervene and revise the electoral decision.

“I have already dropped my letter to the office of the minister. That is the petition and our position is very clear as the delegates from the union of person with disabilities,” he said in an interview with Eye Radio.

“Our president signed the United Nations Convention on the Right of Person with Disabilities and that convention gives us right to participate, give us right to go in such activities therefore I appeal to the minister that I have to be among the candidates.”

“My being among the candidates means a lot to the people living with disabilities more especially the young people living with disabilities.”

“Everybody living with disability in the country would be having that hope that also a person living with disability is taking part in this convention.”

When contacted by Eye Radio, the Principal Returning Officer of the Electoral Committee Korenilio Ajang, said they were following the guidelines set by the South Sudan Youth Union General regulations 2019.

Mr. Ajang added that John Angeth Kenyi failed to be nominated by one State Youth Union and seconded by another two States Youth Unions as required by youth union law.

“He was given the regulations prior to his picking applications, and before submitting, he should have known the requirements whether he met them or not,” the official said.

On Tuesday, the head of South Sudan Union of Persons with Disabilities wrote to the National Youth and Sports Council appealing for secondment criteria waiver for John Angeth Kenyi.

The minority group said Angeth faced issues of accessibility which prompted them to request the council to grant him secondment criteria waiver to enable him to contest.

But Chapter Seven, (Article 32) of the South Sudan Youth Union General regulations, stipulates that any youth who seeks to contest for SSNYU seats shall have at least three years’ experience in Youth activities and shall be nominated by one State Youth Union and seconded by another two States Youth Unions.

On Tuesday, the electoral committee for the 3rd National Youth Convention revealed the final list of the candidates contesting for the chairperson of the South Sudan Youth Union, 2024 – 2028.

The six candidates include William Mapuor Marial from Lakes State, James Ayok Lual from Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, and Emmanuel Lado Kose from Central Equatoria State.

Others include Taban Paride Lokasmoi from Eastern Equatoria State, Bush Buse Laku Ako from Central Equatoria State, and Abiyare Lawrence Riruyo from Western Equatoria State.

According to the electoral committee, the named candidates submitted their applications in accordance with section 32.10 of the South Sudan National Youth Union general resolution 2019.

The electoral committee said it has cleared them to contest for the chairperson of South Sudan Youth Union, 2024 – 2028 in the anticipated 3rd national conversation in Juba.

It added that three candidates among the six won the appeals against their disqualification as per the electoral guidelines 2024 after vetting by the electoral committee.

The seven electoral members were appointed on 8th May 2024 by the Chairperson of the National Youth and Sports Council to develop and publish the electoral guidelines in accordance with youth regulations and the law.

Ramadhan Majeed Mogga also directed the committee to publish electoral timeline and electoral positions as well as receive and vet applicants vying for electoral positions.

The committee were given power to disqualify applicant in accordance with elections guidelines, youth union regulations and the law among others.



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