29th May 2024
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Yakani says election possible without population census

Author: Emmanuel J. Akile | Published: Monday, April 29, 2024

CEPO Director Edmund Yakani | Photo: Awan Moses/Eye Radio

The Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization said the anticipated December 2024 elections can be held with or without population census.

Edmund Yakani said only the unification of forces and permanent constitution are crucial before the conduct of elections.

South Sudan has not conducted any census since it gained independence from the Sudan in 2011.

The last census was conducted by the Sudanese government in 2008 before the 2010 elections.

In April 2023, the head of the National Elections Commission said South Sudan will likely use the 2008 population census results to conduct the country’s first general elections in 2024.

The 2008 house-to-house population count put the country’s inhabitants at 12 million people.

Activist Yakani said the population census should not be among the obstacles to the upcoming elections.

“The population census is not necessary to be used for elections, there are other options and in the world there are experiences where elections are conducted without population census,” he told Eye Radio’s Dawn Show.

“If you insist that you want population census to be used for elections, the region of Upper Nile will extremely lose seats of representation in the national parliament, because their population are either in Juba, or they are in the PoCs, or their populations are in the refugee’s camp.”

Yakani said time is running out before the peace parties implement critical provisions necessary for elections, stressing the need for political consensus among the parties.

“Census is not easy, it is an expensive business, census is a business that require a long time, census is something that require repatriation of IDPs and refugees.”

The 2018 revitalized peace deal mandates the unity government to conduct population census to determine the number of South Sudanese before the conduct of elections in late 2024.

Meanwhile, a National Population Estimate Survey conducted in 2021 put the current population of South Sudan at 12,44,018.

The estimate data carried out in the ten states and three administrative areas, was based on satellite-derived information and a system of equally sized grid squares.

However, it excludes the more than two million South Sudanese refugees in the region.

 

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