SPLM says Kiir-Machar deal “hot air”, polls on

SPLM says Kiir-Machar deal “hot air”, polls on

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) added its voice, rubbishing the media reports claiming that President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar had signed a deal to postpone the 2024 December polls.

Addressing the press conference at the SPLM National Secretariat in Juba on Friday, the SPLM Secretary for Culture, Information, and Communication, Daniel Badagbu, termed the reports mere propaganda and that the electoral preparations are on.  

“President Salva Kiir Mayardit has not discussed or contracted any deal with Vice President Dr Riek Machar regarding the postponement of the election. The election will be in December 2024 without fail, and that is the date which has been scheduled for the election,” said Badagbu.   

According to Badagbu, the SPLM party is a signatory to the peace accord and the party must work with the other partners to make a decision that is acceptable to the other partners.

He said such a deal cannot be sealed by two principals without the input of other peace partners.

 “It will not be done single-handedly or behind the door. Therefore, we are here to denounce this as propaganda.  And we are saying it is null and void. Because it is not legitimate,” he said, adding that election is a popular demand of the South Sudanese people as they need to elect their leaders.

“We are going for the election and nobody should continue to confuse the public. Election is a popular demand of the South Sudanese people because they need to elect their leaders.”

On Thursday, Sudan Post ran a story alleging that a senior official from the SPLM-IO had said that Machar and Kiir had reached a consensus to postpone the 2024 election.

“A senior opposition official from the main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) has said that the group’s leader Riek Machar Teny, has come to a consensus with President Kiir Mayardit to postpone the 2024 elections,” the statement ran by Sudan post partly read, as quoted by the Review on Thursday.

The media outlet further stated that an opposition official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the two leaders had “agreed in principle to push the back of the elections and were tailoring the terms including the extended transitional period.”

However, on Thursday The City Review contacted the acting Press Secretary in the office of the First Vice President, Puok Baluang, who dismissed the claims terming the information untrue.  

  Baluang told The City Review over the phone that the decision of whether to postpone the election or conduct an election on the required timeframe rested “with the parties to the agreement and not the two leaders.”

  “The information is not true, it is not the two leaders to discuss the matter of elections. It is the parties to the agreement that are still discussing to come up with unified decisions,” Baluang told The City Review on Thursday in an exclusive interview.

He added, “The parties will come up with the resolution. Because President Kiir represents SPLM, Machar for SPLM-IO, and Hussein for SSOA, and so forth.”