Kiir push­ing for elec­tions in 2018 as term ex­pires

The East African - - NEWS - By FRED OLUOCH Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

Pic­ture: File

South Sudan’s Pres­i­dent Salva Kiir.

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