South Sudan

South Sudan opposition alliance says no election without proper constitution

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SSOMA said on Monday that it does not want the elections extended or rescheduled and that the peace process - the Tumaini Initiative that is ongoing in Nairobi - should be prioritised.

The South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA) has issued a statement showing its unwillingness to participate in an election expected to take place in December without a proper constitution.

SSOMA said on Monday that it does not want the elections extended or rescheduled and that the peace process—the Tumaini Initiative that is ongoing in Nairobi—should be prioritised.

The opposition says the initiative is the only mechanism to usher in a new political dawn in the country, and anything that proposes otherwise will be out of bad faith. Among the key activities expected is a constitution-making process.

"This is why the Tumaini consensus must include an agreed text on the Permanent Constitution through an inclusive National Constitutional Conference conducted initially in Kenya and completed in South Sudan. Hence, there will be no legitimate democratic elections in South Sudan without a permanent constitution," SSOMA declared.

The alliance further affirmed its position of not entrusting the constitution process to one party alone—the transitional government. It blames the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) for operating outside its transitional constitution and delaying the permanent constitution-making process.

SSOMA wants the initiative to be allowed to conclude its findings before the next call of action.

Presidents William Ruto (Kenya) Lazarus Chakwera (Malawi), Hakainde Hichilema (Zambia), Faustin-Archange Touadéra (Central African Republic), Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe), Salva Kiir (South Sudan), Somalia Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre and the AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki witness the launch of the South Sudan Mediation Process chaired by Lazarus Sumbeiywo at State House, Nairobi on Thursday, May 10, 2024. (Photo: PCS)Presidents William Ruto (Kenya) Lazarus Chakwera (Malawi), Hakainde Hichilema (Zambia), Faustin-Archange Touadéra (Central African Republic), Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe), Salva Kiir (South Sudan), Somalia Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre and the AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki witness the launch of the South Sudan Mediation Process chaired by Lazarus Sumbeiywo at State House, Nairobi, on Thursday, May 9, 2024. (Photo: PCS)

It has also faulted the National Election Commission (NEC) for setting out the official election date, signalling preempting the timeframe when the initiative process will end.

"The initiative will not run on the timeliness of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS). It will come out with a timetable consistent with the agreed programmes and activities," the statement said.

"Thus, to preempt this process with the announcement of an arbitrary election date tells a consistent story: that lack of good faith, political will, and persistent disregard for binding agreements and the law."

The alliance believes the initiative will put a stop to the chaos that is being witnessed in the country.

"The Tumaini Initiative will produce a new agreement with strong implementation mechanisms that will usher South Sudan into a permanent peace, a new dawn, and a new democratic dispensation," the statement said.

The opposition further stated that the agreement that would come through the Tumaini initiative would end the R-ARCSS's term in office.

It vowed not to extend this period since it was not delivering on its promise of serving and handing over power to the people. The government had proposed to extend the R-ARCSS operating period for two more years.

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