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Political analyst proposes Kiir-Machar coalition for peaceful polls

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2023

President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar shake hands after their meeting in Juba, South Sudan October 19, 2019 - Courtesy

A political analyst has suggested coalitions between rival peace parties for a peaceful election citing volatile relations among the groups.

Prof. Abraham Kuol argues that the contest between two political rivals President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar could trigger another violence.

He believes if President Salva Kiir picks his first deputy, Dr. Riek Machar as his running mate in the December 2024 elections, it will lead to more peaceful votes.

He said merging major parties to the peace deal, such as SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO, and SSOA does not mean other parties cannot contest during elections.

On Saturday, September 9, during the closing of the national economic conference, First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar broke his silence on the conduct of elections.

He expressed doubt that there will be no elections without full implementation of security arrangements.

Machar says the critical tasks in the agreement should first be implemented before the country can go for elections.

This includes the deployment of the necessary unified forces, the return of Internally Displaced Persons and refugees, reforms in the security sector, and putting in place a permanent constitution.

Prof. Abraham – who is the dean of the School of Social and Economic Studies at the University of Juba – added that the other parties can still be part of the elected government after the elections.

Speaking on the Dawn show earlier on Tuesday, September 11, political analyst Abraham Kuol said one of the best options for peaceful and timely elections is to merge the main peace parties.

“It is possible that the country might not be ready for elections because even in the countries that are more peaceful, elections are always violent because of parties’ interests,” Abraham said.

“It always makes the supporters of each party collude and be able to collide with one another. As a result of this, you could be able to have mostly in some peaceful countries, they have post-election violence or violence during elections,” he said.

“In this country that we are in right now, the very big problem, not even to the opposition is even the armed civilians, because the armed civilians could even be creating threats.”

“If we want this election [December 2024] to work well, if there is a possibility of merging the major political parties and making them run as one political party. If you merge IO, and you merge IG and you merge SSOA as one grand coalition.”

“Let’s say the current President and the FVP are going back to their SPLM, and they go as running mate, the possibility of intimidation and the possibility of trying to bring back violence will be somehow reduced.”

Last week, the First Vice President said there is no election without security reforms, a permanent constitution, and the return of refugees.

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