SPLM-IO casts doubt on South Sudan’s election in 2023

Honourable Nathaniel Oyet during the workshop

By Ruot George

A leading member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In Opposition (SPLM-IO) who also doubles as the Deputy Speaker of the re-constituted Transitional National Assembly (RTNLA) Rt Hon. Nathaniel Oyet has casted doubts on the possibility of the country conducting elections six months before the end of the transitional period as per the the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (RARCISS) in 2023 as stipulated in the 2018 peace deal.

Hon. Oyet made the remarks last week during a consultative workshop with Stakeholders on Submission to the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) on the Draft Constitution Making Process Bill 2021.

“Lack of political will to meet critical timelines coupled with shortage of funds to operationalize the constitutional making mechanisms are some of the issues that may make it difficult to provide enabling environment for a free and fair elections in South Sudan,” oyet stressed.

Hon Oyet said that critical provisions such as the permanent constitutional making process should have been effective six months into the formation of transitional period.

“All the mechanisms that are facilitating the constitutional making process should not try to amend the peace agreement without the consents of the parties to the agreement. The Reconstituted National Constitutional review commission [R-NCRC], Constitutional Drafting committee [CDC], Preparatory Sub – Committee [PS-C] and National Constitutional Conference [NCC] should have been established and reconstituted   45 days after coming into force of the bill but look at the timeline and where we are”, he posed.

The legislature warned that many South Sudanese who are supposed to take part in the electoral process are in the Refugees Camps and Internally Displacement Camps (IDP’s), a direct pointer to lack of political will.

Stakeholders present during the workshop poked holes in the draft constitution making bill and that is why they wanted to make their submissions to the RTNLA before the bill becomes a law. The workshop was organized by

Community Empowerment for Rehabilitation and Empowerment Organization (CEFORD), a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with financial support from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) department of Political Affairs.

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