Gatwal Augustines; Analysis
Jan 21st, 2015 (Nyamilepedia)—The South Sudan Transitional Constitution stipulates the National Elections must be held in 2015 and the term of the president in office “shall be four years,” commencing from July 9, 2011 for the current leadership. It also stipulates that when the presidential term expires, the office of the president will be considered vacant and temporarily handed over to the Vice President “pending the filling of this position within a 14 days period.”
In April 2010, Salva Kiir was elected president of the then Semi-autonomous; Southern Sudan and later became the president of the New Republic; South Sudan on July 9, 2011, the day the country attained independence making him the first president after an overwhelmingly won referendum in favor of secession.
On 1st August, 2012, the National Election Commission was established as the Electoral Authority in the New Republic of South Sudan. The National Election Act 2012 describes the National Election Commission as a Neutral, Independent and Autonomous with the Authority to regulate, conduct and supervise electoral events, to establish boundary delimitation, to organize voter registration and deliver civic education among several other mandates and duties.
Last year (2014) in December, the Government Spokesperson, Michael Makuei Lueth had announced the Government of South Sudan approval of a $517 million budget prepared by the National Election Commission boss, Mr. Abednego Akok and his team for General Elections to be conducted in July 2015 regardless of the Country looming civil war.
The Country plunged into an abyss on December 15, 2013 fateful night, long after the ruling party; SPLM elites were playing ill and imprudent political games. The results were no better than havocs, organized and systemic killing of innocent civil populace. It is unfortunate the one elected president had to indulge in shameful ethnic cleansing.
“Killing spree” was engineered by his henchmen and without fail implemented by the Gelweng, his privately trained and armed nephews months before the merciless execution. All in the name of foiled coup allegedly staged by a quarter within the ruling party under the command of Dr. Riek Machar, his sacked Vice.
Then thousands had to die callously. Comprise mostly harmless and unarmed women, children and elderly alike. More than one million others, as results of the tragedy had to flee their homes in the country of nearly 12 million people, according to census conducted in 2008. Some of the alleged coup perpetuators could not escape President Salva Kiir’s wrath of menace. Majority were handpicked from their residences and detained in inhuman conditions though later released.
A few of the hunted dogs managed to leave Juba in a narrow escape but still were pursued by the president loyal militia combined with the paid mercenaries of Ugandan People Defense Force. Before long the Juba incidence rapidly spread like wild fire to the rest of the states. The alleged coup culprits then waged war in self defense. Consequently war becomes inevitable.
After the Council of Ministers approved the 1.5 billion South Sudanese pound budget for running the elections in December last year, the National Election Commission has taken the mandates to hand and maintains that the elections must be conducted despite the insurgence prevailing in the country. The pressure is from the above. The President who has for long lost the legitimacy has to be legitimatized once again only through vague elections. The Government spokesman keeps citing constitutional clauses that mask them with legal sense as one of the many reasons why elections should not be postponed.
The major three war affected states of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity according to National Elections Commission shall not partake in voting process though being among the most populated states in the country. This decision was reached after considerate and careful security analysis. Only the remaining seven states shall be able to fully participate. Amazingly super unwise undertaking!
The USA and many other developed countries openly admitted they will not support the elections. Despite this, the government of South Sudan insists elections are constitutional mandate and must be carried out with or without support from developed countries.
But the billion dollar question is: will elections hold without the support from developed countries like USA?
To get answers to that question, one needs to take a ride back to 2010 National Elections. What lessons did you individually learn from those elections? The 2010 elections were not conducted on fair and free atmospheres. They were associated with rigging, irregularities and all sorts of malpractices. SPLM as a party had to impose his candidates against the will of the people of Southern Sudan. Gubernatorial candidates such as Taban Deng Gai of Unity, Kuol Manyang Juuk of Jonglei, Paul Malong Awon of Bhar El Ghazel, Clement Wani Konga among other candidates with help of SPLA intimidated and harassed their opponents and eventually unfairly emerged winners.
Consequently, insurgence cropped up due to unfair nature of the elections. Defeated candidates could not swallow it no more. Some being powerful military senior commanders had to ignite rebellions. Late General George Athor Deng started his rebellion against the regime by massacring over 300 innocent children women and elderly in Fangak County administrative headquarters, Phom el Zeraf in February 2011. He went on terrorizing all the communities within Jonglei that allegedly supported Kuol Manyang Juuk his arch rival. He became a threat to the President Kiir’s regime before meeting his death bizarrely in Uganda that year.
Notably, Unity state suffered the same fate. After Taban Deng Gai rigged the gubernatorial polls with help of Division Four SPLA, Angelina Teny, his opponent and wife to Dr. Riek Machar loyal supporters took arms and bloody violence escalated. General Gatluak Gai, Angelina Teny staunch supporter who rebelled against the unfairness of the polls was later murdered in cold blood.
The same incidence happened somewhere in Bhar el Ghazel, Lakes states and equatoria states. The whole country then become insecure and almost a war zone. However, the insurgence did not last due to an awaited referendum. People quickly reconciled, healed and forgotten these differences and collectively were in preparation for secession from Sudan. They felt they have a common enemy that they first have to deal with. And to expect a win, there was a dire need to put aside internal differences. This saves many of the 2010 elections troubles from growing and escalating.
Taking a leaf from 2010 elections, 2015 elections may surely be hundred folds worst. South Sudan is already an independent state which is also in a fragile mood. Predictions are that may insurgence will emerge from July elections. The presidential candidates may successfully connive with the incumbent to let him win without hard toil, but how about the gubernatorial candidates, the Parliamentarians, and state assemblies? Will any candidate accept defeat in unfairly and rigged manner without taking arms like Late General Athor Deng and Late General Gatluak Gai? I am afraid those who lose elections will possibly either form their own rebellions or join Dr. Riek Machar’s SPLM/A faction.
To conclude, South Sudan elections is inconceivable and unprecedented now. They should be postponed and conducted when permanent ceasefire is attained or else the country shall as well be preparing for yet another possible catastrophe.
Let peace, love and blessings triumph.
Chief Moderator/The Snoop Magazine