Governors end forum with targets on security, election preparations

Governors end forum with targets on security, election preparations

Electoral preparations and security and stability will form part of the core businesses of the governors and chief administrators for the next year as the country inches towards a total transition into a democratic phase.

After a week-long deliberation at Freedom Hall in Juba, the state bosses itemised 32 resolutions and 50 recommendations to foster coordination in the execution of duties with the various relevant ministries in the national government.

The document, which was signed by the minister of presidential affairs, Bangasi Bakosoro, stipulates that the governors and state administrators will play a part in opening up election offices in the states and administrative areas, from which the hired officials will operate.

They are also to help in creating awareness through civic education, training the electoral staff, and ensuring peace and reconciliation among the communities.

The governors and chief administrators also recommended to the national government that there be laws and procedures in place that will ensure a free, fair and credible election.

“[We] urge the political parties to convene for more discussions on interparty dialogue to forge a unified position on holding a free, fair and credible election,” they noted in the statement.

They urged for the completion of pending tasks and called on the national ministry of finance and planning to prepare a supplementary budget to fund the electoral functions.

Contrary to the argument adopted by some of the leaders under the ruling party Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), the governors and chief administrators averred that the country should have a national population census conducted before elections, arguing that this will enable the electoral body to determine the geographical boundaries. The leaders want voter registration and the registration of political parties done immediately.

They also recommended vigourous media campaigns during the election to increase awareness to the grassroots, as well as a friendly environment that would allow fair competition.

On peace and security, the leaders resolved to solve border disputes and also called on the ministry of finance and planning to avail funds to the state ministries of peacebuilding to hold peace campaigns.

They also resolved to invent corridors for the movement of cattle herders and ensure they relate well with the host communities. To reduce the vulnerability of the refugees and returnees, they are to provide settlement areas to the displaced communities as well as protection to staff of the UN and other NGOs.

They called for the complete deployment of the unified forces and the subsequent deployment of the next phase. The leaders resolved to fully implement the pending resolutions of the Sixth Governor’s Forum.

The Seventh Governors’ Forum was organised by UNDP and the Office of the President under the theme “Fostering National Cohesion: South Sudan’s Path to Peaceful Transition to Democratic Governance.”