SPLM supporters unleash President Kiir for 2024 poll battle
President Salva Kiir was treated to a resounding endorsement by the members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement who had gathered in Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal State, to throw their weight behind the flag bearer for the country’s top seat.
The head of state jetted into Wau dressed in red to address thousands of his supporters who had thronged the stadium. President Kiir was welcomed by the area governor, Sarah Cleto, who hails from SPLM-IO but had to fulfil the official duty of welcoming the head of state.
Addressing the mammoth gathering at Wau Stadium, the chairman of the organising committee and the governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, Tong Akeen Ngor, assured Kiir that the people of Bahr el Ghazal region would rally behind Kiir in the 2024 polls.
“All the Bahr el Ghazal are behind you; you can go ahead, and the people of the Bahr el Ghazal region will follow because you will make the SPLM strong,” Tong stated amid the applause from the crowd.
He promised that the people of Bahr el Ghazal region had chosen none other than Kiir to be the flagbearer of the SPLM in the 2024 general elections after realising that he had no close competitor.
“As the chairman of the organising committee, we had the plan for Kiir to come to Bahr el Ghazal because the people of Bahr el Ghazal said they don’t have anybody else apart from Kiir to stand for the presidential election,” he reiterated.
Manhiem Bol Malek, the governor of Warrap State, read the declaration from the people of the four states of Bahr el Ghazal region and Abyei Administrative Area, termed the vote-rich region.
Bound to serve
President Salva Kiir Mayardit said his morale was lifted to a vibrant level of confidence for the party to stand tall towards the general elections.
“I am deeply touched by your endorsement, and your continued support for our historic party gives me confidence that we will stand together as we go towards elections next year”, President Kiir noted.
The Head of State promised his robust support towards the completion of the electoral processes, adding that various developmental projects, including the Juba-Bahr El Ghazal Highway, had made significant progress.
On Monday, tens of thousands of staunch SPLM Supporters from Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, Lakes State, Warrap State, and Abyei Special Administrative Area (ASAA) arrived in Wau, the capital of Western Bahr el Ghazal State, ahead of Kiir’s official endorsement in the region.
His arrival signifies the beginning of his nationwide tour to the states of Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, and Equatoria.
According to the roadmap for the extension of the revitalised agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan, general elections will be held in December 2024, two months before the transitional period ends in February 2025.
Machar is not for rallies.
The overtures come at a time when their close would-be competitors, SPLM-IO, have also opened secretariat offices, even as they decry the shrunken civic space.
Earlier last year, the Director for Information and Public Relations in the office of the first vice president, Puok Both Baluang, said SPLM-IO was not carrying out rallies for the elections because the election was the last item in the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).
“Elections are the endpoint of the agreement, and this was not a rally. After the graduation of the unified forces, we will transform from SPLM/SPLA-IO to SPLM-IO,” he explained.
Baluang told the City Review in May that their main priority was to push for the implementation of the prerequisites of the Revitalised Peace Agreement.