The Deputy Speaker for Administration and Finance at the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly, Parmena Awerial Aluong has called for a general population census to be conducted before the 2023 election.
Awerial said the population census is critical in establishing the number of citizens and MPs who will be going to the parliament.
“We have to have a census. Census has to be done, this is very important to us to know the number of MPs who will be coming to the parliament,” Awerial said during the orientation workshop for members of parliament in Juba on Thursday.
“Because, we have got 550 now and we got 100 members in council of state and that is not how it is supposed to be,” he added.
Awerial stressed the need for speedy implementation of the security arrangement to allow the return of refugees home.
“If the security arrangement is not implemented, the returnees will not go back to their areas. The refugees will not come to the Republic of South Sudan,” he said.
“These are all connected with elections, and so this depends on the parties. How they will implement this agreement and on how we will speed up all these processes,” he added.
The proposed 2023 general elections, expected to allow South Sudanese to vote in a democratically elected leadership, continue to suffer an unclear fate with the presidency exhibiting mixed views over its feasibility.
According to the implementation matrix of the September 2018 agreement, South Sudan was expected to go to polls in February 2022 after the implementation of key provisions of the agreement.
However, critical key provisions of the agreement have remained unimplemented.
It includes the unification of the former warring forces, repatriation of refugees and displaced persons, the conduct of a population census and the development of the country’s permanent constitution.
In addition, the Political Parties Act of 2012 must be reviewed and approved by the parliament to enable the free and democratic registration of political parties in South Sudan.
But to date, the parliament is yet to enact the political parties’ bill.