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Riek Machar, FVP (Left) and President Salva Kiir (Right) shake hands in Juba (File:photo).

CEPO calls for creation of enabling environment ahead of 2024 elections

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The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) has called on the transitional government to work with development partners to create conducive environment for holding free, fair and credible elections in 2024.

Edmund Yakani, the executive director for CEPO was speaking in an interview in Juba on Friday, after the European Union contributed about 3.2 million U.S dollar to support the government in preparing leveled ground for all political actors.

“Usually, our government says we do not have money to implement provisions of the agreement, now since EU has supported UNDP on the electoral process, we need to see the political commitment of the government in creating conducive environment for elections,” Yakani said.

Timo Olkkonen, the European Union Ambassador in South Sudan, said conduct of free, fair and credible lections requires holistic approach that includes respect for human rights, equality and inclusiveness of participation, access to information, and appropriate legislative frameworks and independent institutions.

“The immediate commitment that we want to see and especially from the mechanism of the presidency is an urgent reconstitution of the Political Parties’ Council, National Elections Commission and deployment of unified forces,” Yakani said.

 Yoannes Amum Nyiker, the Secretary General for the defunct National Elections Commission, urged the partners including the European Union to pressure parties to the agreement to fast track implementation of pending tasks before elections are held.

“While we have high ambition to conduct elections, we are left with 17 months to go for elections, what we require from you as our partners is to urge parties to fast track those processes that have not yet been accomplished,” Nyiker said.

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