Kiir pushing for elections in 2018 as term expires
SOUTH SUDAN’S President Salva Kiir has started lobbying for elections to be held in 2018 despite unfavourable conditions.
President Kiir is said to be fearing for his legitimacy once the term of the transitional government expires in February 2018. The August 2015 Peace agreement provides that the Transitional Government of National Unity would last for 30 months after which elections would be held.
For the past one month, the South Sudan leader has been saying that he is consulting with other political leaders on the provisions of the transitional constitution to expedite the elections. This is despite the country being at war over the past four years, and the environment does not allow voter registration and voting because of increased insecurity.
Additionally, President Kiir’s rival Dr Riek Machar — the leader of the Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement-in Opposition — is exiled in South Africa, while the government lacks funds to register voters and conduct elections.
South Sudan’s ambassador to Ethiopia James Morgan, told The Eastafrican that President Kiir is trying to avoid a situation where his rivals claim he is leading an illegitimate government.
The transitional government wbrought signatories of the agreement such as the Taban Deng faction of SPLM-IO, the former detainees together.
“How will we explain to the people that we are still in government after the term of the transmittal government ends. While the rebels are not interested in the implementation of the agreement, it is the same rebels that will say that the government is illegitimate. It is necessary for us to go back to the people,” said Mr Morgan, who is also the country’s permanent representative to the African Union.
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir.