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TGoNU cannot postpone elections without consultations

March 29, 2021(Nyamilepedia) — The Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) cannot postpone elections without consulting signatories to the South Sudan peace deal, political parties, and civil society.

Kiir, Machar after meeting in J1 (Photo credit: Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

According to SPLM-IO head of information and public relations, Puok Both Baluang, the announcement was a unilateral decision by the government.

He said that such a decision should be consulted among the parties to the agreement and voiced as a collective decision after deliberations and ratification by all. 

“This agreement has given us all solutions to all our problems in South Sudan. If the guarantors, friends, and donors support us with resources, we can meet the deadlines and conduct the election in time,” Both said. 

He said lack of resources for the implementation of the agreement has contributed negatively to delaying the implementation matrix and led to delays. 

Both urged all the parties to focus on the implementation of the peace agreement. 

“Our people are now in need of peace and stability so we should all focus our efforts on how to implement this peace agreement. As the SPLM-IO, we are committed to continuing to fully implement the peace agreement rather than taking people to the election.”

Kornelio Kon, a member of the Other Political Parties (OPP), also a signatory to the agreement, accused the SPLM-IG and the SPLM-IO of deliberately delaying the establishment of the transitional institutions as a tactic to postpone the elections.

“Once the formation of all structural government institutions in South Sudan is completed, the Hybrid Court is supposed to begin its work after six months and anyone found involved in committing atrocities during the war is supposed to resign and appear before the court. Who would like to appear before the court?” Kon asked.

Betty Sunday, the Executive Director of Women Action For and With Society said as much as she agrees with the postponement of the elections due to delays, the peace partners should set clear timelines for the remaining provisions in the peace agreement. 

“Postponing elections alone doesn’t solve any problem in the country,” Sunday cautioned. 

These leaders were reacting to a letter written last week by the Minister for Presidential Affairs, Nhial Deng Nhial, in which he said that it was not feasible to hold the scheduled elections in 2022 due to delays in implementing the provisions of the peace agreement.

“The call for early elections in 2022, is again without justification. It must be borne in mind that the actual inauguration of the (R-TGoNU) following the conclusion of the Agreement in September 2018 took some time,” Minister Nhial wrote.

“Hence the time lost must be recouped so that there is adequate time to complete all the tasks of the transition before elections are held. Dr. Ajak himself would acknowledge the absolute necessity of first producing a Permanent Constitution and conducting a population census as indispensable pre-requisites to holding elections.” He added.

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