All set for SPLM mega rally in Equatoria pending budget: organisers
The leaders of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Equatoria are putting the final touches on preparations for a mega rally to endorse President Salva Kiir as the flag bearer in the 2024 presidential election.
The chairperson of SPLM Women League in Central Equatoria State, Joy Raphael, said the party was waiting to forward the budget to the national secretariat to have the date of the rally fixed.
“Our chairperson briefed us this week, and preparation is going on. We came down on Tuesday; we said that we need to have the budget that is going to cater for the occasion,” she stated.
“The day is not yet known, but they have agreed, and also the chairperson of the party at the national level, President Salva Kiir Mayardit has agreed that the occasion will take place in Juba.”
She noted that the state party leadership had already formed a committee to look into the budget issues and was to report within two days.
“We formed the committee for the budget, so we gave the committee two days to come out with the budget.”Today we are going to sit down for a meeting to see the budget so that we will be able to amend and pass it,” she added.
According to Joy, the rally will bring together SPLM party members from the bomas, payams and counties of the Greater Equatoria region to witness the endorsement of their party flag bearer in Juba.
“The importance of this event is that we are following the right procedure in our constitution. And the importance is also that the people will endorse our flag bearer who is none other than our president,” she said.
“On that day we are going to bring people from the three Greater Equatoria…we also going to bring people from the counties; from the boma level, Payam level and then county level.”
Last week, the SPLM leaders in three states of the Equatoria region briefed the president on the preparations.
Governor Louis Lobong, who serves as the SPLM chairperson in Eastern Equatoria State, called upon the party members in Greater Equatoria to turn up in large numbers to endorse their candidate.
“We are informing SPLM members and the people of Equatoria to turn up in big numbers for the historical rally due to take place in Juba in the coming days”, Lobong said.
Early this month, the Greater Bahr el-Ghazal region, comprised of Western Bahr El-Ghazal, Northern Bahr el-Ghazal, Warrap State, Lakes States, and Abyei Special Administrative Area, endorsed Kiir in Wau’s rally.
Tong Akeen Ngor, the chairperson of the organizing committee and the governor of Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State, assured the president of overwhelming support from Greater Bahr-el-Ghazal, commonly termed the vote-rich region.
“All the Bahr el Ghazal are behind you. You can go ahead, and the people of Bahr el Ghazal region will follow because you will make the SPLM strong,” Tong stated.
“As the chairman of the organising committee, we had the plan for Kiir to come to Bahr el Ghazal because the people of Bahr el Ghazal said they don’t have anybody else apart from Kiir to stand for the presidential election.”
In his address, Kiir promised the people of the Greater Bahr-el-Ghazal region service delivery, confiding in the possibility of an election and the smooth completion of the transitional period.
“I am deeply touched by your endorsement, and your continued support to our historic party gives me confidence that we will stand together as we go towards elections next year”, Kiir noted, as quoted by the presidential press unit.
The endorsement will also move to Jonglei State after its completion in Central Equatoria State, the presidential press unit noted.
According to the roadmap for the extension of the transitional period, the general elections will be held in December 2024, and the transitional period will end in February 2025 with the full installation of a democratic government.