January 25, 2015 (SSNA) — Once one has decided to stay away for a while or stop commenting on South Sudan political issues; the SPLM Oyee strange mentality would not accept but again and again come up yet with another unhelpful issue, an issue which can’t pass by um-challenged. In my capacity as a concerned active citizen, I have to have my say on this issue of general elections tabled. As Pericles Athens (c 429-495 B.C.E)’most esteemed statesman’ said “We alone regard a man who takes no interest in public affairs, not as a harmless but as a useless character”. First and foremost I must, therefore, applaud and appreciate the South Sudan media houses, Writers /Journalists, civil society organizations, political parties, all the people of South Sudan and the International Community for their unanimous rejection of the so-called general elections scheduled to be held in June 30th 2015.
This promotes me to put across a question of whether or not, June 30th 2015 elections are being organized in accordance with Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011. Of course, they repeatedly say they (Election Commission and Kiir’s Administration) are acting in accordance to Republic of South Sudan Transitional Constitution, that “we are following what the Constitution says”. However, the derogatory National Government of SPLM in, Juba, South Sudan has been continuously violating the very law of the land (the Transitional Constitution) and at the same time claims an illogical obligation of defending it against all available legal mistakes. These legal mistakes are visible by all in the world over, except the trivial clique in the kingdom of kleptomaniac. The legal political mistakes which expose the SPLM’s toxic political leadership core weakness are that:
1) The SPLM wrote; a supposed national transitional constitution by its own and latter violated it before anybody else could do so, by removing elected people, e.g. Gen. Paul Malong, the former Governor of NBS.
2) The SPLM trained and armed a private army in violation of TC’s Article 151 (3); which says “No person or persons shall raise any armed or paramilitary force in South Sudan except in accordance with this constitution and the law”.
3) The SPLM party on Dec 15 2013 decided to fight itself, and then started massacring innocent South Sudanese people without summoning enough courage to stop the destructions that followed. This is the worst of all political scandals!
4) The SPLM cannot be able to restore peace; back to the people of South Sudan through Addis Ababa. To mention but a few.
Generally, any product of SPLM party or anything design by the SPLM Oyee always kills and destroys. This is true; otherwise, the SPLM Oyee party could implement its Government’s primary responsibilities as quoted below and certainly avert the current chaos as well, in 2013.
In Article 53 (1) of South Sudan’s Transitional constitution; it is stipulated that “the primary responsibilities of the national government shall be, inter alia:
(a) Maintenance of peace and security;
(b) Reconstruction and development;
(c) Promotion of good governance and welfare of the people;
(d) Ensuring the protection of the rights and interests of the people.
The SPLM –led government over the last three years of independence did never touch one of these fundamental duties. Also in the same Article 53 (2) says “the national Government shall discharge its duties and exercise its powers as set forth in this constitution and the law. To me this article means: all related articles of the Transitional Constitution should be accordingly implemented by the National Government without exception.
Nevertheless, since 2011 to date, it is not the case with the Government of the day in Juba. Especially, when it comes to comprehensive implementation of the articles in question, the SPLM Oyee has been using a tactic of “implement and ignore” rest of the articles in the constitution. This tactic has gone beyond dictatorial tendencies, tribalism and even clannish. Let’s take for example, Khartoum successive and deadly regimes during the (21 years of) civil war between the South and the North. Khartoum in the time we all know; was causing insecurity all over the Sudan, killing randomly the country citizens in one way or another. And at those times, also conducted none free and fair elections against the people wills. While the main guerrilla Movement on the other hand, the SPLM by then, was firmly criticizing the regimes. Saying “the NCP or Khartoum’s regime wasn’t paying humane attention to majority ordinary Sudanese people’s voices”. However, nowadays, the very same SPLM now refers to Khartoum regimes’ defective systems, Somalia’s, Syria’s among others, as best systems to support. Or, as living examples why June 30th 2015 general elections should go on without delay. Here, the SPLM’s intention is to ignore the rest of other undone legal requirements. Had the SPLM of yesterday became the NCP of last week?
In our view, the organization of general elections before PEACE AGREEMENT is totally wrong. It is an idea that none of true South Sudanese in his/her right sense should buy. June 30th 2015 elections organizers are really operating outside the compound of truth. The SPLM-led government, instead, should try it best; by restoring peace, back to that bleeding-cursed-liked country called South Sudan. Yes, we can understand that there are people in the kingdom of kleptomaniac there who look at national institutions as theirs. This long-established idea is a source of all these entire problems which are destroying our country today! It appears in actions and in the words of few battling regime’s officials as well as in its diehard clannish fans’ activities. The South Sudanese popular needs to have elections postponed, until peace is restored, should not be made again like the similar popular demand for federalism, where the same trivial and disturbing clique convinced lately. And if the stained term expires; should this disquiet only one small group of South Sudanese? NO! Yet, it is a national question being answered nationally by all the people of the country. As agreed upon in Addis Ababa on 10th May 2014, that “general elections shall be organized by Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) during the transitional period of thirty (30) months.
Contrary to the stated deal, Juba Government’s spokesperson, Makuei Lueth came out angrily, on one of his official working days, earlier this month and said that they would be seeking avenues to organize elections, despite the ongoing peace process in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. And on the following day, South Sudan’s Election Commission’s Chairperson, Abendego Akok jumped up, to his feet and announced the commencement of the elections process. Are these two institutions really operating independently as being claimed? I doubt. At best, perhaps they had cooked something which could forge their extended kin interest after 9th July, 2015. Thumb up, for nineteen (19) Political parties who have opened a legal case against the Election Commission in Juba. I would love Abendego’s elections Commission to tell the South Sudanese people, through the court, about where he gets green light to go ahead with that so-called general elections process!
Moreover, there is also a call that the National Legislature should be the right branch to extend an expiring tainted term of South Sudan executive organ or Kiir’s administration. I can but to a certain extent agree to this call. However, a question is: Does the National Legislature still as all South Sudanese people’s representative? Definitely, the answer is a BIG NO! There are some people whose representatives are not in today Juba National Legislature. For instance; Dr. Richard K. Mula of Mundri, Hon. Akol Ayii of Awiel, Hon. Timothy Tot Chuol, Hon. Henry Dicah Odwar…name them. The list is long. These MPs have their people’s trusts—they were their constituencies’ voices in the Parliament. Then, who would sit on their seats entrusted to them by their constituencies? Again, even the representatives; who are still therein, mostly from Greater Upper Nile, are there just for their personal gains not for their constituencies needs. They have been all rejected, for good, by their respective constituencies. Would these rejected MPs, together with Benydit’s administration, impose personal interests on the grassroots people whom rejected them? In addition, National Legislature miserably betrayed to Kiir’s administration, the ordinary South Sudanese people ever since. On the other hand, who still has a vested interest amongst the South Sudanese people to reinstate that illegitimate administration term in office? Will they be all MPs, who would want to extend that already contaminated term in office? Extending the current South Sudan executive organ term in office is tantamount to decreeing security bill into law which may in turn, denote sentencing citizens to death. That is a food for thought! What should happen, within these two-three months, is that the SPLM factions must speedily sign peace. We hope and wish the governing factions will be serious about this. Otherwise, the South Sudan transitional constitution, 2011, Article 102 (2) shall act “If the office of the President of the Republic falls vacant, the post shall be assumed by the Vice President pending elections that shall be conducted by the National Elections Commission within sixty days from the date of occurrence of the vacancy. Who is that Vice President?
In conclusion, I would want Kiir’s administration and South Sudan Election Commission to alternatively listen to both national and international good Samaritans voices. The two institutions should be in touch with reality and majority’s rights. Evaluation in leadership is very important. Both institutions’ drivers need to accustom themselves with how to pre-empt problems rather than opting to resolve those inevitable blatant problems after they arise. Reading of the general situations of the people as well as the opinions they express on daily basis concerning any national subject matter is a best way to go in an effective leadership. I know one or all in group will answer it other way round that: there are enjoyable people who want to exercise their democratic rights. But, is there any need to reminded those folks; that there are also people who cannot be able to exercise their rights due to dreadful sufferings they are enduring? Like those displaced people in Mankigman IDPs camp in Lakes state, in other UNMISS bases across the country as well as in the bordering countries. Or aren’t all people of South Sudan should be equal, before those institutions legal courts in Juba? Once more, I am of the opinion that PEACE should be priority. To right away, suspend all these divisive and calamitous programs until peace is agreed in Addis Ababa. Yes, Benydit’s homestead wasn’t reached by the conflict, I know. However, should this be the reason why it is widely being considered that, a slight damage in one part of the body cannot affect the whole system in the same body? “There is no need to wait for invisible IGAD-led peace process; what we can do now, is to alternatively eye what is written in the constitution and implement it, accordingly”. The later, was an official statement (plan) by Kiir’s administration and openly announced by the regime’s Spokesman, Mr. Michael Kuei Lueth. A plan which in two days later, forwarded to Mr. Abendego Akok Kachuol, the South Sudan Election Commission’s Chairperson, for implementation. Is this what the Government and Elections Commission are inspiring to do? Okay, if Kiir;s administration and Election Commission are indeed working in accordance to South Sudan Transitional constitution, 2011, as they claim, let’s just take a quick look and see whether or not they are really doing it right.
Squarely to the point, in South Sudan Transitional Constitution, 2011, Article193 (2) it is stipulated that there shall be National Bureau of Statistics which shall be an independent statistics bureau authorized, inter alia, to:
(b) Conduct census throughout South Sudan states before general elections. This also reads together on the same page with Article 194 that says “The National Government shall during the Transitional period conduct a population census the outcome of which shall, inter alia, determine the number of electoral constituencies for the next general elections. Have these censuses been done—conducted in accordance with Article 193 (2) (b) and Article 194 quoted above respectively? Of course, they haven’t been conducted. Therefore, if the government and its Election Commission are indeed working in accordance with South Sudan Transitional Constitution, 2011, then they must first of all:
(1) See to it that, the Republic of South Sudan’s permanent constitution is in place;
(2) Conduct the population censuses, which shall determine the number of electoral constituencies for general elections as clearly stipulated in Article 193 (2) (b) & Article 194 respectively; and
(3) Then hold South Sudan’s General Elections.
All these legal (constitutional) requirements must be put in place. As you have seen, elections come last of all, in the above mentioned number (1), (2) & (3)!! Because in procedures, particularly in legal institutions, whatever comes first is always done the first one before the second, the third…etc. Thereafter, all would-be able South Sudanese people including the author shall freely vote in well organized, procedural, free and fair general elections. Now, if such procedures are not followed as constitutionally stipulated, then June 30th 2015 general elections are being organized not in accordance with South Sudan’s current Transitional Constitution. But in accordance with a constitution of Kiir’s administration alone and its Election Commission which they might have written somewhere, perhaps in Akon.
The author, Bol Khan, is a civil/human rights and peace activist. He can be reached at [email protected].