24th June 2024
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RJMEC chief sounds alarm over inadequate election preparations just 7 months away

Author: Koang Pal Chang | Published: Friday, May 24, 2024

Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai, The Chairperson of RJMEC - File Photo/RJMEC

The Interim Chairperson of the Re-constituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission expressed worry that, with only seven months left, there’s no sign of adequate preparation for credible elections in South Sudan.

Amb. Charles Tai Gituai made these remarks during the opening of the RJMEC meeting in Juba on Thursday.

He expressed concern over the lack of sufficient preparation for the elections and implementation of crucial election-related tasks, with just seven months remaining.

“Barely seven months to the elections, there is still no evidence of sufficient preparation for the conduct of elections and implementation of critical election-related tasks,” Amb. Gituai said.

Amb. Gituai emphasized the urgent need to fully activate and fund key institutions like the PPC, NEC, and NCRC, complete force unification, and establish a permanent election framework.

Furthermore, he highlighted the NEC’s delay in conducting elections-related tasks, such as establishing subsidiary electoral management bodies at the state level.

Amb. Gituai noted pending tasks like setting up procedures for the voter registry and registration, supporting civic education and voter outreach, and publishing the voter register six months before the elections.

He also emphasized the need to complete other pending tasks, such as the judicial reform process, reviewing the Judiciary Act, establishing the Constitutional Court, and enacting the revised National Security Service Act (Amendment) Bill 2023.

These measures aim to create an enabling civic and political space for citizens’ participation in governance.

As such, he said, the inter-party dialogue must be expedited to provide clarity on the way forward.

“This would help the South Sudanese to prepare sufficiently and enable timely mobilisation of resources by the regional and international community to support the process,” he said.

Furthermore, Amb. Gituai raised concerns about continued inter-communal violence in different parts of the country, such as in Tambura, Twic, and parts of Abyei region, saying: “This underlines the critical importance of full unification of all forces and their redeployment to provide security in all parts of the country,” he said.

In his recommendation, the Interim Chairperson asked the Transitional Government and the Parties to dialogue in a collegial manner, build consensus, provide regular updates and a way forward on elections complete the deployment of the unified forces and commence Phase II, without further delay.

In his conclusion, he said:“Overall, it is important to underline that four years into the Transitional Period, relative progress has been made in the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement. All efforts should therefore be made to consolidate the peace gains, and lay a firm foundation for lasting peace, development and prosperity for the people of South Sudan.”

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