RJMEC urges gov’t to focus on 2023 poll

RJMEC urges gov’t to focus on 2023 poll
Maj. Gen. Charles Gituai, RJMEC Interim Chairperson. [Photo: Courtesy]

The Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) is urging the unity government to focus on drafting a permanent constitution to aid the election process.

The chairperson of RJMEC appealed a sensitisation on the Revitalised Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) for the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (RTNLA) of the Republic of South Sudan, which was held on Tuesday in Juba.

Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai told national legislators at the workshop that the RTNLA should prioritise and focus on legislative preparations for constitutional-making and election processes, which are essential requirements of the agreement, to transition the country to a democratic dispensation.

Maj. Gen. Gituai asked lawmakers to pass relevant and timely legislation to expedite the election process’ completion within the agreed timeframes.

 “I wish to underscore the importance of a people-led and people-owned permanent constitution, which will be the cornerstone of the state of South Sudan, preparing the way for a smooth transition through free, fair and credible elections”, Maj. Gen Gituai emphasised this in a keynote speech to the legislators.

“As the legislative arm of government, I take this opportunity to remind you of the critical role your institution plays in ensuring that the necessary legislation is enacted to enable this process to commence expeditiously,” he added.

“Continue to build on the peace dividends achieved thus far, adhere to their commitments to peace, take steps to restore broken relationships, build trust and confidence among yourselves, turn a new page; and inculcate the necessary political will which shall move the country forward towards enduring peace and stability,” he urged.

The workshop, which brought together the first group of 550 RTNLA members, aimed to familiarise them with the content of the Revitalised Peace Agreement as well as offer updates on its implementation progress.

 “It is therefore important for you, as national leaders, to have a better and common understanding of the Revitalised Peace Agreement, get clarity on critical content-related questions and issues surrounding its implementation, and provide it with full support,” he added.

The term of the government is set to expire in less than a year, but parties to the revitalised peace agreement are still grappling with the challenges of implementing certain key provisions of the agreement, including a permanent constitution-making process and election process in which citizens elect leaders of their choice to lead them.

Provisions of the deal, such as the permanent constitution-making process and the election process implementation, which are critical for South Sudan’s transition to a new government, are still behind schedule.

According to sub-article (6.3) of Chapter VI of the revitalized agreement, the reconstituted TNLA must establish legislation to govern the constitutional making process during the first six (6) months of the Transitional Period.

In sub-article (6.4), the permanent constitution must be finished not later than twenty-four (24) months after the Transitional Period is established, and it must be in place to lead the elections near the end of the transition.