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South Sudan opposition wants enactment of permanent constitution ahead of elections

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement- in opposition (SPLM-IO) led by First Vice President Riek Machar is demanding the completion of the security arrangements and enactment of the permanent constitution before the upcoming elections are held.

William Gai Riak, the Secretary General for SPLM-IO in Unity State told The Juba Echo on Friday that enactment of the permanent constitution and the full deployment of the necessary unified forces are key to guaranteeing free, fair and credible elections in December 2024.

“We should not participate in unsafe elections, if we really mean to conduct elections let the government speed up with the security arrangements, permanent constitution,” Riak said during an interview in Bentiu town.

He also called on the parties within the transitional unity government to first carry out population census prior to elections.

“We cannot hold elections without knowing the country’s population; do we know how many people are going to vote?” Riak asked

Riak said that the majority of South Sudanese support elections because they believe they are the only solution to transition the country toward democratic governance.

Under the 2018 revitalized peace agreement, the transitional government is supposed to train and deploy 83,000 unified forces consisting of police, wildlife, prisons, intelligence and military officers.

South Sudan is supposed to hold elections in December 2024 at the end of the current transitional period.

The deployment of the first batch of unified forces is critical to provide security before elections are held.

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