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Angelo Beda to Kiir, Machar: “We must have election” to attain power

Author : Obaj Shago | Published: Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dr. Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir during the first TGoNU cabinet meeting in Juba in April, 2016.

The co-chair of the National Dialogue Steering Committee, Angelo Beda has urged President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to allow the country to undergo peaceful democratic processes of attaining power.

Beda said both leaders should follow the principles of democracy that allow for the will of the people as supreme to their personal interests.

He said elections are the universally accepted process of acquiring or retaining power.

Beda said Dr. Riek should wait to contest the forthcoming election instead of returning to the position of First vice President.

“We must have election. And so Dr. Riek, there is no need clinging to the fact that you must be [First] Vice President because the time is finished. From here now to election, how many months are left?” he asked.

He said there are only a few months left to the end of the transitional period.

“Is there any need to come and be First Vice President and go for election? Wait, come and organize yourself so that you go for election,” he said.

The co-chair made these remarks in Juba today (Wednesday) at the opening of a workshop on the implementation of the peace agreement.

“The same for Salva Kiir; there is no need to cling to power because we want election on time,” Beda said.

Angelo Beda also urged President Salva Kiir to ensure the elections envisaged in the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, ARCSS, are organized on time.

The veteran and renowned political figure said the entire country demands peace and stability, which can be championed by the two and other leaders from South Sudan.

“Peace as a common denominator wanted by everybody including those who are fighting. We want a new era of election and come and participate.”

Beda and Abel Alier, another veteran politician, were both appointed by President Salva Kiir to spearhead the National Dialogue process.

However, the initiative has often come under scrutiny from South Sudanese politicians, mainly outside the country, who accuse the President for being insincere about the process.

Some leaders such as Pagan Amum, Rebecca Nyandeng Garang and Dr. Lam Akol believe the dialogue will not be successful without another and separate political process.

However, Angelo Beda also said the South Sudanese elites have failed in restoring peace and stability in the country.

He said there was no need for people to criticize the national dialogue, in the absence of any other viable alternative.

“We as the elite, we have failed to lead the country. And when we come to you, don’t look at [it by saying] this must be credible, it must be this. Stop the criticicts, stop the people, including the churches who are saying this thing cannot go ahead,” he appealed.
“And what is going to go ahead?”

The workshop at which Beda spoke was organized by the Civil Society task-force on the Implementation of the Peace Agreement.

President Salva Kiir initiated the dialogue last year, saying it would help restore lasting peace and reconcile the people.

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