Lomuro: Let’s identify thorny issues that warrant party talks

Lomuro: Let’s identify thorny issues that warrant party talks

Dr Elia Lomuro, the minister for cabinet affairs who spearheads the High-Level Committee on the Implementation of the 2018 Peace Agreement and the Roadmap, said the leaders need to have a consensus on the type of election they will go for in December 2024.

During a four-day meeting that ended in Juba on Saturday, the committee discussed the implementation of the roadmap and pointed out some of the areas of contest.

Dr. Lomuro said the country also needs a political decision on which constitution to use during the polls and this will mean that the committee will have to table a proposal to different stakeholders.

“The issue is really whether we wait for the permanent constitution or we amend the current constitution or the current Election Act,” he said.

 “I don’t believe that we cannot agree on the type and number of elections. I don’t believe that,” he said.

The committee also discussed the critical provisions of the agreement that were captured in the roadmap.  

Lomuro said that aside from the constitution’s composition, which anticipates taking 16 to 20 months to finish, Chapter One of the agreement was nearly finished.

He added that the National Elections Act should be evaluated to ensure that it is consistent with the permanent constitution, as well as the establishment of the constitutional court, emphasising that the electoral commission has become constitutionally in charge of Chapter One implementation.

 “The National Elections Commission is taking over the process. It is also recommended in the roadmap that the National Elections Commission is now legally responsible for the electoral process,” he said.

“It has internal issues, internal governance regulations, administration, and so on, as well as pre-election activities. This is now the responsibility of the commission, which is waiting for a political decision, which must be made by the parties to the agreement to which constitution, in the absence of a permanent constitution, can be used in elections; that is a matter to be discussed,” Lomura said.

The minister said they also agreed to kick off phase two of the training of the necessary unified forces immediately. 

“Chapter Two on security is important for the country’s security; for the physical properties of the citizens through the Ministry of Interior. Now that phase two is coming up, we agreed on a schedule and were given a briefing by the chair of the National Transitional Committee that Phase Two will now start and we will usher it in. We believe this will be completed before December 2024,” he said.

According to him, chapter three on the returnees may not be important for the committee is of the view that this will not affect the conduct of general elections.

“We went through Chapter Three on the issue that relates to IDPs, returnees and refugees and there are 19 items in that annexe, which we went through and the minister of humanitarian affairs was allowed to give us the details, this is not a chapter that affects elections,” he said.