Election or not: Parties need to agree to make this decision on time

Election or not: Parties need to agree to make this decision on time

The South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) recently declared a bold stand on the planned 2024 elections.

In a detailed statement issued earlier in the week, the chairperson of the SSOA party, Josephine Lagu, communicated the position of the party, which also affirmed its readiness for the election.

Lagu stated that South Sudan needs to overcome the plaque of endless transitions that have proven less effective. The SSOA leaders stressed that it is prudent to move to the democratic phase through elections.

“The position of SSOA is that we should aim at holding the elections as stipulated in the roadmap,” the group noted in a statement.

“Elections are a requirement of the R-ARCSS, and failure to hold elections is a violation of the same,” the statement read in part.

While emphasizing the need for an election, the country’s arguably third-largest party underscored the importance of accomplishing the pending pre-electoral tasks.

Notably, South Sudan needs a permanent constitution, complete deployment of the unified forces, determination of constituency boundaries and a national population census to conduct a proper election.

Unfortunately, at the moment, these are some of the tasks yet to be completed. The SPLM-IO recently issued a statement capturing the scorecard of the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) in the implementation of the peace agreement.

The main opposition party noted that although the government had met some of the expectations in implementing the revitalised peace agreement, there are crucial areas yet to be touched. The SPLM-IO went as far as stating that it would take a timeline of 24 months to make a permanent constitution that would guide an electoral process. However, the SPLM-IO did not exclusively call for an extension but hinted at a need for the consideration of such a decision if all the tasks were to be accomplished.

Just like SSOA, the SPLM-IO called for deliberation among the peace partners to agree on the way forward.

Also on Tuesday, the peace monitoring body, the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), lamented that the peace partners have remained lethargic despite the need to discuss and agree on the way forward on ending the transition. Based on these cases, the peace partners need to come together and agree on how they will conduct an election with or without the pre-electoral tasks. Time is running out and they need to act to prepare the country for a decent eventuality come December 2024.