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Nathaniel Oyet Pierino, Deputy Speaker of TNLA.

SPLM-IO demands full implementation of pending tasks ahead of elections

The leading opposition party Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) on Friday demanded the full implementation of the pending tasks within the 2018 revitalized peace agreement before holding the general election scheduled for December 2024.

Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, the Deputy Chairman of the SPLM-IO led by First Vice President Riek Machar warned of a constitutional crisis, if elections were held in the absence of the permanent constitution.

“You must amend the current constitution to allow you hold elections, if you hold elections under  the current circumstances you will have constitutional crisis and you would have not ended the transition period,” Pierino  who doubles as the First  Deputy Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly  said during press conference held in Juba.

The Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) is still currently relying on the Transitional Constitution 2011, as the constitution-making process under the 2018 revitalized peace agreement remains incomplete.

 “You must have a permanent constitution to repeal the transitional constitution in order to terminate the transition, a permanent constitution with a system of government, definition of state, the question of number of states is not yet resolved, we only reverted the country to 10 states,” Pierino said.

He also outlined the key pending tasks such as the unification of forces, opening up of civic and political space, conduct of national population census and repatriation refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) as a prerequisite for the conduct of the 2024 elections.

Pierino disclosed that the National Security Amendment Bill has stalled in parliament because the SPLM-In Government (SPLM-IG), under President Salva Kiir wants to retain the controversial section 54 and section 55 in the bill that give unfettered power of arrest, search without warrant to the National Security Services (NSS).

 “Our position regarding elections is very clear, elections should take place after implementing the prerequisites, elections are not the answer to the problems of South Sudanese, those who say you hold elections without implementing the peace agreement are actually insensitive to the prevailing circumstances of the country,” Pierino said.

 He said that the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement is the only viable means to end political violence in the youngest nation.

 “We are now talking of relative peace, South Sudan is looking for durable, sustainable peace, we cannot transit on the basis of relative peace,” Pierino said.

He said further that the SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO must dialogue in order to agree on the election timeline.

“It is impossible for R-TGoNU to hold elections come December 22, 2024, unless they conduct sham elections or abrogate the peace agreement which will throw the country into confusion,” Pierino said.

The transition period under the 2018 revitalized peace agreement is scheduled to end in February 2025.

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