You can conduct election when you want, UN tells Gov’t

You can conduct election when you want, UN tells Gov’t
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 Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom, is urging the government to complete the remaining crucial chapters in the agreement to pave the way for a free, fair, and credible election.

Mr Haysom said that it is up to South Sudanese leaders to ensure that elections are held within the time frame outlined in the peace accord.

He was speaking during the Revitalised Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC) 23rd monthly meeting in Juba last week.

He said it is only the speed with which the parties approve the electoral bill and reconstitute the National Electoral Commission that will show how committed they are to meeting the deadlines for holding free, fair, and credible elections.

“There is no reason why the government of national unity, and specifically the TNLA, cannot put in place the necessary legislative framework to prepare for elections and implement the essential judicial and financial reforms as soon as possible,” Nicholas said.

Haysom said important election chapters would only be implemented if parties demonstrate political will.

“In particular, pass the constitutional making process bill, graduate the first batch of the NUF, advance the three April agreement, work with NCAC to expedite the National Elections Bill process, and agree on a roadmap to exit the transitional period with free, fair, and peaceful elections,” said Mr Haysom.

 However, he acknowledged the progress made in Chapter 5 for the establishment of the Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing Commission (CTRH).

Nicholas said it was gratifying to him to see that the public consultation process has ‘‘begun in earnest, with representatives of the commission’s technical committee being dispatched to several states.’’

He stressed that the process provides a framework for realising the rights to truth, justice, compensation, and assurances of non-recurrence.

“Reform and reconciliation, we all hope, will help us build a more resilient society. “Transitional justice is a requirement for long-term peace.”

‘‘The recent mandate extension of the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) and the passing of the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill by parliament is an example of promising results once there is political will,” he stated.

He stated the resumption of the NCAC supports the legislative process and, in particular, allows for the review of the National Elections Act 2012.

Speaking at the same event, RJMEC Interim Chairperson, Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai, echoed the sentiments, saying the pending tasks would be crucial for transitioning into a democratic dispensation.

“In particular, the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing (CTRH), the Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS), and the Compensation and Reparation Authority (CRA),” he said.

Gen. Tai said the enactment of the Constitution-Making Process Bill 2022, which is also a fundamental guide to conducting elections after the transitional period, is the permanent constitution-making process in Chapter 6 of the R-ARCSS.