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Government to conduct Elections as per 2015 peace deal

Juba 3rd September 2017, Government spokesperson Hon. Michael Makuei has said elections will be held at the end of the Transitional period as stipulated in the 2015 Peace Agreement.  

The civil society group Community Empowerment for Progress Organization said the current context of South Sudan is not    conducive for conduct of credible, fair and transparent general national elections. Having violent conflict on-going it will be hard to facilitate electoral process that will meet democratic standards.

Mr. Edmund Yakani, Executive Director of CEPO says   essential reforms and amendment are required on the following  legal frameworks starting with the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011, the Political Parties Act, 2012 and the National Elections Act, 2012    
Further institutional reforms and reconstitution of the National Elections Commission (NEC) is also required before conduct of the general national elections. NEC needs to meet those requirements per ARCSS for preparing conduct of national elections.

Recently, the Chairman of JMEC Festus Mogae told a plenary meeting that holding elections amidst the mass displacement would be difficult.  Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Michael Makuei said the displacements to neighboring countries will not hinder the forthcoming elections – which he says shall only be for the presidency and other geographical constituencies. “We don’t need to condition everything on the impossible. So, we are here to run elections at the right time when time comes,” Mr Makuei stated. “For the refugees: anybody who wants to come to exercise his or her right is free to come back. There is what they call voluntary repatriation.”

The priority now is extension of the transitional period for realistic timeline with clear defined milestones that are concrete with attached sanctions if violated by any of the parties to the peace agreement. Going for elections in the current context of South Sudan is critical and not possible, specifically with issues of free movement, free political campaigns and safety and protection of contesting candidates and protection of the electoral processes by our security institutions. Mr. Yakani stressed 

CEPO calls for IGAD revitalization process to prioritize the extension of the transitional period but clear breach marks that have serious attached sanctions against any party to the peace agreement that wants to violate any of the defined milestones for the extended transitional period.