South Sudan has called for international support to enable it hold free and fair elections, saying peaceful transfer of power was the only way to end power struggles.
The spokesperson for the presidency, Ateny Wek Ateny said government has already put in place plans and activities that require international support for the conduct of free elections to end conflict.
He spoke at a news conference organized on Friday to respond to an earlier statement issued by United States (U.S) Senator, Patrick Leahy.
On January 6, Senator Patrick Leahly called on South Sudan President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar to step aside, while appealing to the United States, Canada, Norway and the United Kingdom to stand with alternative political groups and church leaders to achieve a democratic and peaceful solution in South Sudan.
“We take the challenge stated by Senator [Patrick Leahly] that President Kiir and Vice President Machar should set a date for national and parliamentary elections, in accordance with the R-ARCSS [Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan] as an opportunity to announce the following to the public our allies and the international community,” said Ateny.
He appealed to parties to the peace deal and development partners to work together in support of the electoral process and timely hold elections as stipulated in the September 2018 peace accord.
The presidential spokesperson further called upon the United Nations and African Union to assist with the process of holding free, fair, and peaceful elections using the recent hybrid census-based constituency model used to conduct elections held in March 2010.
Further calls were also made to the parties to the peace agreement to expedite the establishment of the unified forces by July 9, 2022 and speed up the ongoing permanent constitution-making process.
Ateny also appealed to all political parties to register with the Political Parties Council and organize their conventions by January 9, 2023.