Machar launches SPLM/A-IO countrywide registrations

Machar launches SPLM/A-IO countrywide registrations
SPLM/A-IO Chairman Dr. Riek Machar addresses the party members during the opening of registration in Juba. [Photo: Daniel Garang]

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) leader, Dr. Riek Machar, on Saturday launched mass membership registration and mobilisation.

The registration process which started at the party headquarters in Juba, was attended by the top party leadership, among them the Deputy Chairman, Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, as well as members of the political bureau, youth, and women. 

The registration exercise attracted a mammoth of prospective members who the venue could not accommodate. 

Speaking during the launch in Juba, the SPLM/A-IO Chairman Dr. Machar, hailed the registration exercise as a tremendous move, adding his party was focused on broadening its base throughout the country.

Dr. Machar said one could only be recognised as a full member of the party after registering. He added that the membership registration is accessible to anyone who wants to sign up as a party member.

“This party membership registration launch is essential for everyone. Everyone must begin registering, so get started now,’’ said Dr Machar. 

 However, the First Vice President clarified that the party would not register the members of the organised forces. These are members from the police, army, national security, wildlife, or another agency. 

“Please don’t, even if you have a soft spot for SPLM/A-IO,” Dr. Machar advised. The First Vice President said the decision is pegged on law which stipulates that the members of the organised forces must remain neutral or relinquish services before registering as members of a political party.  

 “If you decide to have a party, then the other people in the other parties will probably face challenges from soldiers, police, or national security,” Dr. Machar emphasised. 

He gave the same instruction to the state chairpersons of the SPLM/A-IO at each location across the nation.

The obstacles that the state chairpersons currently face would be lessened after the unified forces graduate, he said.

“Security concerns won’t [end] until after the unified forces have graduated. Of course, they attempted to graduate the first class last month but were unsuccessful. We do not know when it will be graduated, but we are hoping that it will be soon because it is a crucial component of the peace accord.”

Tough call on election

The SPLM/A-IO boss waded into the subject of election arguing that while everyone wants elections to be held whenever possible, but there will always be doubts about, whether they can be free and fair without the full implementation of peace accords throughout the nation.

“As a result, we are saying, let us speed up and finish what is to be accomplished. Even if the peace deal can be completed in one month or less from now, I think everyone will be ready for elections at the conclusion of the transitional period, “he assured. 

However, he asserted that the absence of the nation’s constitution—which he described as the essential instrument for any democratic society to conduct elections—would make it appear as though someone was acting to talk about it.

The opposition leader added that their main objective was to promote the adoption of the requirements of the Revitalized Peace Agreement.

While the SPLM actively recruited members ahead of the 2023 elections, Machar’s movement keeps low-key. Before  the exercise began, SPLM/A-IO Interim Secretary- General, Regina Joseph, said the party was targeting atleast 1,000 members per state.