Parties to agreement to shape proposals on electoral roadmap

Parties to agreement to shape proposals on electoral roadmap
Michael Makuei Lueth, government spokesperson, and Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, when they attended the 23rd RJMEC monthly meeting on Thursday in Juba. [Alex Bullen, City Review]

The parties that did not take part in the recently drawn roadmap to end the transitional period still have the chance to contribute their views, the Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Elia Lomuro, said.

The minister said the discourse around the pre-election transition would be all-inclusive and no party would be left behind. 

“The parties were taken through the details of the implementation of chapters one, two, five, and six, tabulated with timeframe, start date, and finish date, to give us a broad outlook as to how much time we have to finish the key provisions that are necessary,” Lomuro told the press on Friday in Juba.

“And after the presentation, the leadership of parties to the agreement, including the leader of the SPLM/A-IO, made their contributions, and we agreed that the roadmap provided R-ARCSS, with a very good way forward.”

The roadmap is said to contain plans for transitioning the country to free, fair and credible elections at the end of the transitional period.

Last Wednesday, during the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the national day of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Juba, Dr. Lomuro said President Salva Kiir would soon announce his plan for the country to hold democratic elections. However, the country is still waiting for the presidential address. 

“I am aware of so many consultations going on. We will assure you again that in the next few days, you will see the president unveiling his agenda, to ensure that the peace agreement ends in an election that is free, fair, and credible,” Dr. Lomuro said.

The Cabinet Affairs Minister also called on the United States government, which had withdrawn its support for the peace process, to reconsider its decision. 

He noted that the peace agreement was permanent and would not take the country back to war.

 “I want to assure everyone that the peace agreement despite challenges is going to… end in the democratic election at the end of the transitional period,” he added.

“I am aware that everybody is concerned about how the transitional period will end, the transitional period will end with a discussion, and an agreement between the parties to the agreement.”

Puok Both Baluang, the Director for Information and Public Relations, in the office of the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, last Monday told The City Review that the roadmap was “a document of the SPLM-IG,” adding that opposition parties were not part and parcel of its production.

“We as SPLM-IO hear about the so-called roadmap presented to President Salva Kiir on the news. We did not take part in it and we are not aware of the content of the document, which is being called a roadmap [because] we believe [that] it is the SPLM-IG roadmap,” Puok said.

This comes at a time when parties to the agreement decry the slow-paced implementation of the deal. 

“The implementation of the peace agreement is not going as expected.” The biggest challenges are commitment and political will,” said Ms. Angelina.

“The return of our people outside the country is highly dependent on the renewal of the pledge in the implementation of the peace agreement,” said Minister for Defense, Angelina Teny, in an interview with Radio Miraya.

Yesterday, a civil society body is known as the Voluntary Civil Society Workforce on the Implementation of the Peace Agreement also warned against ‘‘conducting an election without consensus.’’

The agreed period

According to the R-ARCSS, the election is supposed to be held in November, three months before the end of the transitional period, in February 2023.

The time seems to be limited with a lot at hand including the graduation of Necessary Unified Forces, Dignified Repatriation of Refugees and IDPs, Passing of the Permanent Constitution Act, census, Political Parties Act, and Security Act to mention but a few which are the package that seals the entire peace agreement.

The government did not organise the official celebration of the 11th anniversary of independence two weeks ago to channel funds toward the peace process. The delays in the graduation of forces had been blamed on lack of proper logistics, inadequate preparation and arms embargo, however, the government decided to use sticks to graduate forces when the time is ripe for it.