18th June 2021
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UN helps S Sudan prepare for 2022 general elections

Author: Joakino Francis | Published: Friday, May 21, 2021

Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro | Credit | Eye Radio

The government and United Nations Mission in South Sudan are working on modalities for conducting credible elections in South Sudan.

The revitalized peace agreement mandates the Transitional Government to organize elections sixty days before the end of the current Transitional Period.

This is expected to enable establish a democratically elected government.

Dr. Elia Lomuro, minister of Cabinet Affairs, says the government asked the UN to provide some of the requirements needed for the conduct of a democratic election.

“We have been discussing with representatives from the UN on how to help the Republic of South Sudan with elections in terms of infrastructure, expertise, training and capacity building,” Dr Lomuro said during a plenary meeting of R-JMEC in Juba on Thursday.

South Sudanese are supposed to go for polls in 2022, according to the peace deal.

But in March 2021, the former Minister of Presidential Affairs, Nhial Deng Nhial – in a statement – said the government was not prepared to organize any elections.

He explained that this is because the implementation of the peace deal has been slow and that a permanent constitution and a population census have not been conducted.

The State House suggested that more time and adjusting of the timetable would be required to reorganize institutions in charge of democratic reforms.

Kiir’s office insisted that adequate time was needed to complete all the tasks of the transition before elections were held.

For elections to take place, the agreement says the Political Parties Act, 2012 must be reviewed and approved by the parliament to enable free and democratic registration of political parties in South Sudan.

It also expects the permanent constitution to be enacted before a new National Elections Commission organizes the polls.

The UN Mission in South Sudan now says it is prepared to support the government to meet its obligations.

“On the question of elections, at least assessment mission sent by the UN Security Council is currently in Juba to assess technical, security, procedural and logistical requirements for conducting credible elections in South Sudan,” said Guang Cong, deputy representative of the UN Secretary-General in South Sudan.

Three years have elapsed since the signing of the peace deal.

The parties are yet to complete most parts of chapter one on governance, chapter two on permanent security arrangements, chapter three on special reconstruction programs, chapter four on economic reforms, and even on the establishment of a proper justice system.

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