15th October 2019
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Opposition Alliance wrangling over ‘division of cake’

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: 4 months ago

Gabriel Changson Chang is SSOA's interim chairperson -whose position is being disputed. He is also the Co-Chair of the NPTC

A new political power wrangling has emerged within the South Sudan Opposition Alliance, five months before a Transitional Government of National Unity is formed.

The Interim chairperson of the alliance, Gabriel Changson Chang says one of the group’s members has declared herself the new head of the alliance.

This comes barely 7 months after some members of the alliance protested against the election of the late Peter Gatdet as the new chairman.

SSOA which comprises of 8 different political parties is a signatory to the revitalized peace accord and will likely nominate a Vice President to fill the position during the formation of coalition government this coming November.

Its leaders includes; Dr. Lam Akol, Gabriel Changson, Joseph Bakasoro, Khalid Butrus, Josephine Lagu, Hussein Abdelbagi and Bapiny Monytuil, and the late Peter Gatdet -who has now been replaced by a new person.

The parties during the signing of their charter reportedly agreed to a six month rotational leadership role.

But some members say Mr. Changson has held on to the position for too long.

Changson was first challenged by the election of late Gatdet in November last year. The move created a rift within the alliance.

Read related story: https://eyeradio.org/cracks-emerge-within-south-sudan-opposition-alliance-over-gadets-leadership/

The differences over the chairmanship quite down over the months.

But this week,  Gabriel Changson revealed that one other member of the alliance, Josephine Lagu has revived the claim for the helm of the coalition.

The revitalized peace agreement stipulates that one of the four vice presidents shall be nominated by SSOA.

He or she will be in charge of service cluster which will include, the Ministries of; Higher Education, Science and Technology, General Education and Health.

Others are, the Ministry of Public Service and Human Resource Development and the Ministry of Labor.

The revitalized peace agreement also allocates 3 ministries to SSOA with one deputy minister.

“We in SSOA are 8 parties that participated in the peace process and whatever that has been portioned for SSOA must be divided amongst the 8 parties,” Changson said, while addressing a press conference in Juba on Thursday.

He said the wrangle is basically over who controls the alliance as it heads towards the sharing of positions allocated to it in the next TGoNU.

“One of the problem that brought us to the crisis was the issue of division of the cake. We think that one of the causes of this crisis was the issue of competing over this position,” Changson added.

The South Sudan Council of Churches has reportedly intervened to help the parties reach an amicable solution.

“We agreed that we have to address it so that we can have amicable division of the cake that will lead to how we should be united,” Changson said.

SSOA is made up of  the Federal Democratic Party, National Salvation Front, National Democratic Movement, People’s Democratic Movement, South Sudan Liberation Movement,  South Sudan National Movement for Change, South Sudan Patriotic Movement, South Sudan United Movement and the United Democratic Republican Alliance.

Earlier, Dr. James Okuk, a political analyst called on SSOA to put aside their personal interests and work together for the implementation of the pre-transitional period.

“I advise those parties who have signed the agreement to put aside their interests on power and focus on how to build the institutions that are critical in implementing the agreement,” he stressed.

Okuk said ongoing quarrels among the parties will likely affect some aspects of the peace agreement.

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