Juba, South Sudan
July 8, 2021— South Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, who is showing difficulties in walking these days, says he can’t help but to run for presidency if “people decide” for him to do so in what would be South Sudan’s first official elections in the unknown nearest future.
Speaking to a Kenyan journalist, Jeff Koinange, at the presidential palace in Juba, the president who has had ten difficult years as a president of the independence Republic of South Sudan, said he would have no option but to run if he gets a chance to do so; however, whether he will win or not would depend on whether the elections are held and whether they are free, fair and transparent or not.
In his argument, President Kiir said it is not up to him to decide whether to run or not, saying the mandate belong to the people and the ruling party who will decide his fates to contest in 2023 general elections that are yet to be confirmed.
“If I am told by the people and the party to run, I will have no choice”, he said during the interview.
Mr. President also said he would retire by his own free will when time comes but he said he is not ready to tolerate any forceful retirement like what his First Vice President Machar wishes so.
Kiir accused Machar of attempting coups multiple times in attempt to grab power by force saying if he could have waited, he would have peacefully handed power over to him.
“when the time comes, I will retire, If Machar had waited, I would have called him and told him to take over”, President claims.
President Kiir cited 1991 and 2013 as the grounds for his argument saying Machar had only two years to wait in 2013 for an election to declare his interests, a claim Machar may not repute as he is being protected by his opponent.
Salva Kiir Mayardit has been in power for 16 good years but he has spent almost all the 16 years fighting his fellow South Sudanese starting with the Lou-Nuer white army of Jonglei State in 2006 and continued on to fight groups that include Johnson Olony in in Upper Nile, David YauYau in the current Pibor Administrative Area, Peter Gatdet, Bapieny Manytuel and others in Unity State to Dau Atorjong in Northern Barh el Ghazal State before South Sudan returned to a full-scale war in December 2013.
The current war, which broke out on December 15, 2013, is largely known as the SPLM/A war since the ruling party failed to solve its leadership crises as multiple leaders shown interests in replacing Salva Kiir in party primaries which Salva Kiir tried to silent through an iron fist.
South Sudan gained her independence on 9th of July, 2011 but since then the country has never conducted any election and holding independence anniversaries are becoming once in a blue moon occurrences.