Biar joins calls for polls, extends olive branch to SPLM parties

Biar joins calls for polls, extends olive branch to SPLM parties

A vocal South Sudanese activist-turned politician Dr Peter Biar added his voice to the quest for elections, saying the country is ripe for the polls, and there is no need for further extensions.

In an interview with one of the local online media outlets, Biar joined other political leaders in opposing any urge for extensions, as he argues that not even a single day should be added.

“We may have issues whatever, but the most important thing is that the election must happen. We cannot extend the government again. No more extension, completely; not even one single day should be added on,” Biar said.

He acknowledged that some of the essential parts pre-election conditions have not been implemented, but he averred that once the electoral commission and council responsible take shape, the election has to take place with the help of partners.

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“If the national electoral commission says that they have issues in terms of the timeline for making sure that the election happens, then one of the things that we, as political parties, will be able to advise them is that they should seek support from our partners,” he said.

He called for the political will for exercise but also emphasised that the months left are enough for the country to have the poll, relating the situation to the 2010 voting.

“We have 16 months. This 16-month period is enormous, and by the way, we are not starting from scratch. There is some work that we have done overtime that is going to propel us,” he said.

Biar resigned from the ruling party, SPLM, to form his Revive South Sudan Party (RSSP) recently. However, his political ambitions remain unclear especially on the seat he intends to vie for.

Although self-exiled after having a rough patch with the government, Biar who penned an apology letter to President Salva Kiir over his controversial utterances against the head of state in a Kenyan television two years ago, maintained that he was willing to come home. This time, to pursue his political ambitions.

“When we come to Juba, I’m more than willing, and even now I’ve been speaking with all these leaders, including, by the way, leaders within the SPLM, because of what we are trying to do here,” he said.

He said that his party is not against the SPLM or any other politician but came to reform the nation.

“We are not against the SPLM; we are not against President Kiir; we are not against Vice President Dr. Riek; we are for a better South Sudan. We are for a South Sudan of hope for progress and unity,” he said.

He added that his party is willing to take part in the election, adding that the number of members will increase within a short period of time.

“This (RSSP) party can be ready to contest every single position that will be contestable in the election,” he said.

While he concurred with President Kiir’s speech in Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal when the latter declared that he would be meeting the citizens across the country, for Biar, these electoral preparations should be in tandem with the implementation of the peace agreement.

The government, particularly the ruling SPLM, has shown undoubtable interest in having the elections next year as per the Roadmap.

Last week, Government Spokesperson, Michael Makuei, told the media that SPLM willing to go to participate in the election as they do not subscribe to any plan for an extension.

“But for us as government and as SPLM in particular, we are going for an election; anybody who does not want to go is up to him or her,” Makuei said.