21st June 2024
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Youth council’s decision to disqualify candidate Angeth revoked

Author: Yar Ajak | Published: Friday, May 24, 2024

Dr. Joseph Geng Akech, Youth and Sports Minister - Courtesy

The Minister of Youth and Sports has revoked the decision of the electoral committee and the National Youth and Sports Council disqualifying a disabled man from vying for the chairperson of the National Youth Union.

On 21st May, John Angeth Kenyi, a member of the Union of Persons with Disabilities, wrote a petition to the Minister of Youth and Sports claiming he was disqualified from contesting after the council and electoral committee attached secondment as a barrier.

According to the aspiring candidate, he was nominated by the Union of Persons with Disabilities and met the age limit of 21–31 as 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.

Responding to National Youth and Sports Council’s letter dated 23rd May 2024, the Youth Minister, Dr. Joseph Geng, said the decision to reverse the electoral committees is in accordance with Article 114 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan.

Geng stated that John Angeth Kenyi is within the youth age, which gives him the right to vie according to the South Sudan youth regulations and youth development policy.

He quoted Article 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which obligates member states to ensure that persons with disabilities effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others.

On this basis, the minister said the government is obliged to empower youth and promote inclusivity and social cohesion.

He also emphasized that the youth policy encourages inclusivity rather than exclusivity in adherence to the constitution and law.

In their decision to disqualify John Kenyi, 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 State Youth Unions as required by youth union law.

But Dr. Geng argued that the petitioner is an able person desirous of participating in youth affairs and that the lack of secondments by another state is not fatal to the democratic right of any youth to participate.



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